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Courtside Philippines Player of the Week: Rhenz Abando

by Court Side, September 10, 2019 4:55pm

The opening week of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball competition has been a chock full of action with a lot of rookies shining in their debut in the collegiate circuit – some to the surprise of many.

A total of seven games have already been played in Week One with a handful of players taking the spotlight to steer their respective teams into victory and we at Courtside Philippines took a deeper look on who stood out among those up-and-coming UAAP stars.

Our staff scrutinized the performances of the players who headlined in the previous games and the majority of the votes of our panel went for University of Santo Tomas (UST) spitfire Rhenz Abando as the first-ever Courtside Philippines Player of the Week.

Rhenz Abando during UST's first game against UE (Photo by: Jhang Dalanon)

Abando, who was also named as the Collegiate Press Corps Player of the Week, was instrumental in the back-to-back victories of the Growling Tigers in their first two games of the tournament, averaging 17 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in his first two outings in the UAAP. The former Philippine College of Science and Technology of Pangasinan standout had to wait for his time to come in the UAAP but immediately made impact upon his arrival.

The La Union-born forward was on fire during their first game with a 22-point performance on five triples as he helped the Espana-based platoon take home a 95-82 win over the University of the East. He then continued his fine form by stuffing the stat sheet with 12 markers, sevens boards, and two assists off the bench in their 85-69 victory over the University of the Philippines.

Here’s how the vote went down:

Nevin Reyes (Vote: Rhenz Abando)

Abando is no doubt the best player who played in the opening week of the UAAP. He proved that he is one of the best players in the collegiate ranks today with impressive performances against the UE Red Warriors and the UP Fighting Maroons. If he continues to play like this, he just might help the Growling Tigers fight for the crown this season.

JIM WILSON (Vote: Rhenz Abando)

Abando dropped 22 points in UST's first game against UE, helping them create enough separation with some late baskets. When UST faced defending champion Ateneo, the La Union native tallied 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. With those two wins, Abando has risen as among the biggest stars of the team early in the season.

EUGENE FLORES (Vote: Rhenz Abando)

After erupting for 22 points on his UAAP debut against the UE Red Warriors, Abando displayed an all-around performance over UP with 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and two assists. He is showing that he is a complete package and can help the team in other ways aside from scoring.

Niel Masoy (Vote: Soulemane Chabi Yo)

While Nonoy and Abando gave themselves a strong case for being players of the week, it was Soulemane Chabi Yo, who should really be awarded. He provided the relatively-short UST frontcourt the muscle and energy inside. He provided scoring and rebounding in the Growling Tigers' winning run, putting up 18.5 points and 15.5 rebounds. With his defense, the Beninise center also did not allow his counterparts in Bright Akhuetie and Alex Diakhite to dominate inside.

Reynald Magallon (Vote: Soulmane Chabi Yo)

While the performances of the Tiger's rookie duo of Rhenz Abando and Mark Nonoy in their first two games overshadowed his game, Chabi Yo was the consistent force for the Aldin Ayo-mentored squad. He averaged 18.5 points, 15.5 boards in his first two games with UST. Chabi Yo was a force inside and provided the Tigers two solid outings, holding his own against UE's Alex Diakhite and last season's MVP Bright Akhueti of UP. He provided support to Abando in the game against UE finishing with 19 points and 12 boards while leading the way in their victory over UP with 18 points and 18 boards en route to a clean slate in the first week of the UAAP.

This is a weekly feature story published by Courtside Philippines to discuss the players with the best performance in the UAAP Basketball Tournament.


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