PBA Draft

PBA hopeful RJ Abarrientos brings talent back home after Japan, Korea stint

Philip Matel

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

PBA hopeful RJ Abarrientos brings talent back home after Japan, Korea stint

READY.. RJ Abarrientos during Strong Group-Philippines’ practice ahead of the Jones Cup.


Former FEU star RJ Abarrientos joins the PBA Rookie Draft, two years after playing pro basketball in Japan and Korea

MANILA, Philippines — After two years overseas, sharpshooting guard RJ Abarrientos brings his talent back home, applying for the PBA Rookie Draft set on July 14. 

“I’m really excited to return to the Philippines and play in the league which I envisioned playing in,” the former FEU Tamaraw said in Filipino during an online interview with Rappler. 

The nephew of former league MVP Johnny Abarrientos, RJ wrapped up his lone season with the Shinshu Brave Warriors in the Japan B. League, where he was named one of the Asia All-Stars. 

He opted out of a two-year deal as his contract provided a player option in the back half. 

During his lone season in the Land of the Rising Sun, Abarrientos averaged 7.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 0.6 steals in 14 minutes of action. 

The 24-year-old Abarrientos cited his family as the main reason for his decision to come home.

Prior to his foray in Japan, Abarrientos made waves in Korea, where he won the KBL Rookie of the Year while suiting up for the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus. 

He helped the team reach the semifinals, where they lost to runner-up Goyang in five games. 

Playing as a member of the famed basketball clan bears no pressure on him, as he looks at the bigger picture that is the PBA. 

“I’m thankful for the fans, and [pressure] is nothing special for me… I just want to hoop and bring back the excitement for the fans and the league,” Abarrientos said. 

He’s currently preparing for the upcoming William Jones Cup in Taipei under the Strong Group–Pilipinas banner, joining several stalwarts like Kiefer Ravena, Dave Ildefonso, and Chris McCullough. 

Abarrientos, who recently sustained a nasty cut on his foot from a freak accident, had since been able to fully participate in practice and scrimmages.

The upcoming PBA Rookie Draft class is bannered by consensus top pick Justine Baltazar, as well as Evan Nelle, CJ Cansino, Ben Phillips, Jerom Lastimosa, Caelan Tiongson, and Dave Ildefonso.

Converge is set to pick first overall. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!