Abando leaves Korean Basketball League squad

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Abando leaves Korean Basketball League squad
Rhenz Abando (12)
East Asia Super League (EASL)

MANILA, Philippines – High-flying Filipino import Rhenz Abando has bid his Korean Basketball League (KBL) team, the Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters, goodbye after two years.

After two seasons with the Red Boosters, who won the KBL title in 2023, Abando has “signed off” from the team, according to a statement posted on the 26-year-old’s Instagram account. 

He thanked the team for the past couple of years. 

“It was a great two-year ride. It was like a roller-coaster ride with a lot of ups and downs. But nonetheless, I learned a lot,” the swingman said. 

“Thank you! Goodbye. Your JKJ Red Booster no. 12, now signing off,” he added. 

Abando had eventful seasons with the KBL squad. In his first year, he won the KBL championship as well as the East Asia Super League Champions Week title.

The guard also bagged the slam dunk championship crown last year. 

The second season of the former University of Santo Tomas Growling Tiger and Letran Knight was not as successful, as the squad did not qualify for the KBL playoffs. 

Late last year, Abando also suffered a freak injury during a KBL game. He sustained fractures on his third and fourth lumbar vertebrae, a sprain on his wrist ligament and a concussion. 

The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart returned to the hardcourt in March. 

“To the Red Boosters, [t]hank you for giving me the chance to let me showcase my talent and passion for the game. Thank you for trusting me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for you and not because of the opportunity that you’ve given me, I would not receive this kind of respect that I experience nowaday[s],” he said. 

“To my trainers, translators and teammates, who have become my family for the past two years, I am grateful to all of you and I cherish every moment with all of you. I am thankful for all the learning that you’ve instilled in me, not only on the court, but most importantly, off the court,” he added. 

Abando’s plans for the future are still unclear as of now. 

“To the JKJ fans, thank you for the undying support and believing in us. Win or lose, you guys are always there on our side. Thank you so much, and please still continue to support this team no matter what,” he stressed. 

“And to all the Filipino who supported me most especially to the OFWs in South Korea, thank you so much for supporting me most especially during workdays, even you guys still have work you always made time to watch our games. You guys made me feel that I am not alone and I hope I made all of you proud.”

Meanwhile, big man Kai Sotto also parted ways with his Japan B.League team, the Yokohama B-Corsairs, the squad announced Tuesday. 

This, after the loan from the Hiroshima Dragonflies expired.

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