A NATIONAL Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion, East Asia Super League (EASL) champion and now, Korean Basketball League (KBL) champion.
Filipino pride Rhenz Abando capped a stellar year in his overseas debut with a KBL title as Anyang KGC escaped with a thrilling 100-97 overtime win over the Seoul SK Knights, in Game 7 of the back-and-forth finals at the Anyang Gym.
The former NCAA Rookie-MVP from Letran University went scoreless but delivered on the defensive end with three rebounds, a steal and two blocks plus an assist in 27 minutes of play to help Anyang regain the KBL supremacy.
Anyang bowed to Seoul, 4-1, in last year’s finals but showed a glimpse of its revenge capability by winning the inaugural EASL Champions Week in Japan last March against the same team.
Mr. Abando, 25, also captured the Slam Dunk crown on top of a 3×3 title for Team Philippines against Team Korea in the KBL All-Star earlier this year.
Omari Spellman led Anyang with 34 points and 14 rebounds while local ace Oh Se-keun hauled down 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Kim Sun-hyung (37), Choi Seongwon (25) and Best Import Jameel Warney (20) paced the Knights, who wasted a 91-87 lead in the last minute of regulation to absorb a double whammy against Anyang in the EASL and KBL finals. — John Bryan Ulanday