Korean Basketball League

Rhenz Abando takes back injury rehab in stride, respects KBL sanction on Chinanu Onuaku

JR Isaga

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Rhenz Abando takes back injury rehab in stride, respects KBL sanction on Chinanu Onuaku

BACK IN MANILA. Rhenz Abando in a media session during his Manila visit with Korean champion Anyang for the East Asia Super League

ANYANG

Injured Gilas Pilipinas high-flyer Rhenz Abando, briefly back home as a spectator in the EASL, shares updates on his harrowing spinal injury and final thoughts on the incident that caused it

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas rising star Rhenz Abando remains in high spirits despite being sidelined by a spine fracture he suffered during a game in the Korean Basketball League (KBL).

Back home in the Philippines to support his Anyang Jung Kwan Jang Red Boosters team against the PBA’s TNT Tropang Giga in the East Asia Super League (EASL), the high-flying sensation said he is taking a calculated approach with his on-court return, given the severity of his injury.

“Right now, I’m feeling better. I’ve been resting for almost four weeks. I can’t say exactly when I’d return, but I need two more weeks to get my conditioning back up, and I still have to get a CT scan back in Korea,” he said in Filipino during a media availability at the PhilSports Arena on Tuesday, January 23.

“Right now, I still feel pain, especially whenever I try to lift something heavy or when I move in a way that will squeeze my back. I will not rush my return because I’m thinking of my long-term future.”

Despite the harrowing nature of his injury, which was caused by a mid-air push from Goyang Sono Skygunners import and former NBA player Chinanu Onuaku, Abando was keen on putting the incident behind him and just move forward.

Asked on whether or not the $2,300 sanction without game suspensions was fair given that it triggered protests from Koreans and online vitriol from Filipinos, Abando quickly steered clear of the issue out of respect for his current employers.

“I don’t really know, but that’s the decision they made, so I’m also sticking with that. What happened, happened,” he said.

“I think it was just an accident,” Abando continued, talking about Onuaku’s push. “I don’t really want to talk about it further.”

With more or less two weeks to go before he can take further steps in his return, Abando will sit out Anyang’s crucial game against TNT on Wednesday, January 24.

At the very least, the La Union native will have a brief reunion with his family, friends, and fans at the PhilSports Arena before heading back to Korea for further testing and rehab.

With a win on enemy territory at 7 pm, Anyang (2-2) will officially eliminate TNT (1-4) from EASL title contention, and will have a clearer path towards a Final Four berth in the home-and-away tournament made up of the best teams from four Asian leagues.

Without Abando, the Red Boosters will lean on former NBA player Omari Spellman to carry the offensive load, while the Tropang Giga seek to fight another day alongside the Hollis-Jefferson brothers, Rahlir and ex-NBA starter Rondae. – Rappler.com

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