RHENZ Abando went hard on himself as University of Santo Tomas fell short of the title in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.
The UST rookie sensation, who made a name for himself early in the season, admitted that he could have done better for his team against Ateneo in the best-of-three finals series.
After contributing just three points in UST’s 77-91 loss in Game One, Abando had 16 points in Game Two, although his efforts went down the drain as Ateneo bagged the championship on Wednesday at the MOA Arena.
“Oo disappointed ako, sobrang disappointed ako kasi ‘yun nga wala akong nagawa Game One and ngayong Game Two kinapos so kailangan lang ulit magsimula sa una,” he said.
“Sobrang ano lang nakaka-amaze lang, gulat pa nga rin ako ngayon eh,” Abando revealed his thoughts on his first finals stint. “Finals na ba ‘to? Sobrang parang hindi ako ready ngayon kaya ‘yung Game One ko pati Game Two naging ganoon, hindi ako ready.”
But Abando, who was thankful for all the support from the UST community, vowed to get better.
“Feeling ko kulang, kulang pa, kasi hindi namin nakuha ‘yung talagang goal namin kaya kailangan pa namin magtrabaho,” he said. “So ayun i-savor lang namin ‘yung pagkatalo na ‘to, gagawin lang namin motivation for next season.”
The Pangasinan native has two more playing years with UST and he only has one thing that he wants to achieve.
“Gusto ko rin magchampion, gusto ko rin maranasan mag-champion eh. So ayun nga [nilu-look forward ko] mag-champion,” he said.
Before he ended the interview and went out of the arena, where the UST supporters were waiting for them, Abando asked for one thing.
He wished that the entire UST community could also support all the Thomasian athletes the same way they support the Tigers.
“Sobrang saya namin kasi ganoon ‘yung UST crowd sa amin, UST community, so sana tuluy-tuloy lang nila ‘yun sana next season pa,” he said. “Gusto ko lang sana kung paano nila kami i-support din nila ‘yung ibang athletes gaya ng pag-support nila sa amin, gaya ng pagmamahal nila sa amin.”
“Message ko is maraming-maraming salamat sa suporta niyo kinulang man tayo, next year babawi tayo. Tuluy-tuloy niyo lang ang suporta niyo, mahal na mahal namin kayo,” he added.