And it requires other players to fill the enormous shoes left by the 5-foot-11 gunner.
It's the challenge that Tamaraws head coach Olsen Racela laid out to his holdovers as they pick up the pieces from Abarrientos' sudden exit.
Olsen on RJ Abarrientos exit
"It's an opportunity for the other guys to step up. We have to make do with our second group so si Patrick [Sleat] ang nagpi-pinch hit as point guard defensively and running plays for us," he said.
FEU has so far gotten efforts from all over its roster, from tthe usual suspects in L-Jay Gonzales and Xyrus Torres, to role players like Bryan Sajonia, Royce Alforque, Ximone Sandagon, and Patrick Sleat.
That was the case again on Wednesday in its 82-73 win over San Beda to level its standing to 2-2 in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup.
It also helps that Abarrientos himself has given his old Tamaraw teammates the closure they both need, formally bidding the squad goodbye this week.
"Noong isang araw, nagpakain siya sa amin. It was to make it official so that the team can move forward," shared Racela.
"It was the first time he addressed the team, parang despedida niya sa amin. He said his goodbyes and thank yous and we have to move forward. And para kay RJ din, he had to have that papunta sa next level ng career niya."
As for those who remain in Morayta, Racela only sees it simply: "Life goes on for us."
"Another opportunity ito for the other players to step up. It's their chance to shine naman."