June 25, 2024

Rhenz Abando signs with Strong Group Athletics for 43rd William Jones Cup

Rhenz Abando signs with Strong Group Athletics for 43rd William Jones Cup
Rhenz Abando will aim to use his experience in the KBL to help Strong Group-Pilipinas bag the gold medal in the upcoming Jones Cup. | Photos (c) Anyang Red Boosters

Rhenz Abando will officially join Strong Group-Pilipinas in the upcoming 43rd William Jones Cup, scheduled to take place from July 13 to 21, 2024, in Taipei, Taiwan.

The 26-year-old Abando is currently a free agent, after opting not to renew his contract with Korean Basketball League club Anyang Jung Kwan Jang.

The explosive 6-foot-2 winger from Santo Tomas, La Union, was instrumental in winning the KBL championship for the then-KGC-backed team in the 2022-23 season.

Now, with Strong Group, Abando is eager to represent the Philippines before embarking on his next journey overseas.

“Excited ako makapaglaro for Strong Group kasi nung nasa Korea ako, pinapanood ko 'yung games nila sa Dubai,” said Abando, who averaged 9.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists last season in the KBL.

“Talagang napasaya nila ang fans dun. Sana mapasaya din namin ang mga kababayan natin sa Taiwan ngayong Jones Cup,” he added.

Head coach Charles Tiu, also the head coach of the St. Benilde Blazers in the NCAA, expressed his enthusiasm about coaching Abando.

“I’m happy to have the opportunity to finally coach Rhenz. I’ve coached against him in the past, and I think he’s a great player,” said Tiu. “He gives us a lot of athleticism and firepower.”

Abando likewise is also looking forward to playing under Tiu.

“Looking forward din ako to be under Coach Charles kasi new system at alam kong may matutunan ako sa kanya,” added Abando.

[ALSO READ: Strong Group Athletics to represent Philippines in 2024 Jones Cup]

The skilled winger is especially thrilled to reunite with friends RJ Abarrientos and Angelo Kouame, and to play alongside one of his mentors, Kiefer Ravena.

“Makakasama ko na naman ang mga repa kaya siguradong maraming kulitan ‘to on and off the court,” expressed Abando.

Along with Abando, Strong Group have also snapped up Jordan Heading, Caelan Tiongson, and former San Miguel Beermen import Chris McCullough for the Jones Cup.