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MANILA, Philippines – John Amores is leaving behind the mess he created in the Philippine collegiate basketball scene for a fresh start at the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) with the Zamboanga Valientes, team representatives revealed on Thursday, December 8.
The 23-year-old player – who reached national headlines after assaulting four CSB players in the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament – is reportedly foregoing the rest of his collegiate eligibility to ply his wares in the regional league starting this January 2023 with the ABL Invitational.
Amores – who is on a one-season contract until March 2023 – can officially return to the hardwood as early as January 3, when the Valientes take on Louvre Indonesia in the Singapore-based tournament.
Zamboanga will then take on the Saigon Heat on January 6, the NS Matrix Malaysia on January 7, and the Singapore Slingers on January 8.
“We at Valientes believe in second chances. He is a good player who made a mistake in which he truly regrets. One mistake does not define who you are,” said team manager Nino Rejhi Natividad.
“Before we were the Valientes, we were really the Zamboanga Amores. Amores is love, so we believe he can be a changed man this time especially around Zamboanguenos who are brave, but know how to act accordingly,” he continued in Filipino.
In what would be his final season with the JRU Heavy Bombers, the 6-foot-2 guard averaged 9.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 13 games – the last being his fateful encounter with CSB that eventually got him kicked off the team and suspended indefinitely by the NCAA.
“We believe he can help the team with his defense and outside shooting. Let’s all await Amores’ rise with the Valientes,” Natividad continued.
He has since subjected himself to JRU’s new student-athlete mental health program – a byproduct of his shocking assault last November 8. – Rappler.com