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    'Poaching' attempts cited as reason behind UST benching of Rhenz Abando

    Oct 17, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    AT least two major UAAP schools are trying to pry Rhenz Abando away from University of Santo Tomas, sources said on Thursday.

    Spin.ph sources bared the 6-foot-2 rising star is being lured out of Espana even with the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament still ongoing.

    "Maraming schools ang gusto kumuha," was the curt reply of the source who refused to be named understandably because of the sensitivity of the matter.

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    Abando's stock rose in his rookie season with the Growling Tigers, where he is averaging 11.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 1.1 assists a game.

    He certainly made quite an impression on rivals schools, especially with Abando having two more playing years aside from this season after transferring from Philippine College of Science and Technology in Pangasinan.

    And those talks heated up when Abando showed up for UST's 84-78 win over University of the Philippines on Wednesday in street clothes, spending the entire game on ringside row.

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    It is not known if Abando entertained the offers, but Ayo was certainly unhappy enough to bench the high-flyer during the win over the Maroons.

    Not only that.

    Another source bared the Sto. Tomas, La Union native has been told not to attend team functions.

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    School officials, led by Ayo and UST Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) director Fr. Jannel Abogado, OP, are set to meet with Abando on Thursday afternoon.

    Ayo remains mum on the situation, although Abando's fate may lie on what comes out of that meeting.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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