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    Rhenz Abando commits to stay with Tigers after meeting UST officials

    Oct 17, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    ALL'S well that ends well?

    That seems to be the case after Rhenz Abando committed to remain with University of Santo Tomas after all.

    Sources close to the situation bared the 6-foot-2 high-flyer's issues were ironed out in a meeting with school officials on Thursday.

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      Abando met with head coach Aldin Ayo and UST Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) director Fr. Jannel Abogado, OP this afternoon and has agreed to remain in España for the rest of his collegiate career.

      Ayo has also confirmed the development, ending an emotional 48 hours for the team as the Growling Tigers get to keep their 21-year-old rising star.

      "Okay na," said the Sorsogon-born mentor. "He's always been committed to UST. And in-affirm niya sa amin sa team na he's here until the end of his collegiate career."

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      The development came a day after the rising star was shockingly benched by Ayo in the Tigers' game against University of the Philippines on Wednesday.

      Although Ayo kept mum after the Tigers' 84-78 win, details emerged on Thursday that poaching attempts by at least two major schools started a chain of events that led to Abando's benching,

      Although it wasn't clear if Abando solicited or entertained the offers, Ayo and school officials were angry enough to immediately take action.

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      Ayo confirmed there were offers, saying Abando's benching was a chance for the 21-year-old to clear his head from the chatter.

      "Gusto namin siyang maliwanagan," he said. "Wala namang concrete offers, pero sinabi nga ni Rhenz sa amin na dito siya hanggang matapos ang UAAP career niya. Committed siya sa UST."

      Despite not having Abando, the Growling Tigers pulled through against the Fighting Maroons and rose to solo third place in the UAAP Season 82 men's basketball tournament at 6-5.

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      The La Union native averaged 11.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 1.1 assists in the nine games he played with the Tigers this season.

      Abando has also been cleared to practice, joining the team's session on Thursday and is cleared to play for Saturday's game against National University at Ynares Center in Antipolo.

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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