UAAP: Rhenz Abando, Ira Bataller leave UST — report

Published August 31, 2020, 10:16 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Rhenz Abando (UAAP)
Rhenz Abando has reportedly left UST. (UAAP)

A total of four Tigers have left the lair.

Rhenz Abando and Ira Bataller have reportedly parted ways with University of Santo Tomas Sunday afternoon, following the departure of former teammates CJ Cansino and Brent Paraiso.

One of the reported frontrunner schools for the Abando recruitment is Letran, a sister-school of UST.

“Malapit na yan,” a reliable source told the Manila Bulletin, regarding Abando’s transfer.

San Beda University also expressed interest in recruiting Abando, another source confirmed.

Abando hinted later that reports were true by posting on his social media accounts.

“Thank you for your unending grace!!!” Abando wrote on Twitter, with a yellow heart emoji.

On Instagram, he posted a photo of UST’s Main Building with the same caption via Stories.

Screenshot of Rhenz Abando’s Instagram story

Should Abando decide to suit up for a UAAP school, he will only have one playing year left. But if he chooses to commit to a non-UAAP school, like the NCAA, two more playing years await him.

Bataller, for his part, will have two more years in a UAAP school and three for a non-UAAP squad.

Abando is no stranger to controversy as the 22-year-old cager from Pangasinan was benched by head coach Aldin Ayo in one of the games during Season 82.

“Poaching” attempts from other schools were reportedly cited as one of the reasons behind the benching.

The 6-foot-2 swingman was seen in casual clothes at the bleachers during UST’s 84-78 win over University of the Philippines.

This time around, Abando and Bataller were part of the group chat that Cansino bared on social media Wednesday.

READ: UST athletic director Fr. Abogado resigns amid training bubble controversy

Players discussed with their parents the living condition in the alleged unauthorized Sorsogon “bubble,” with some expressing their grievances on food and health among others.

These eventually led Cansino, who transferred to UP, to be kicked out of the team while Paraiso left on his own accord.

The UST fiasco is coming to a close this Tuesday as the UAAP presents the school’s findings to officials of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) Group and Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (With reports from Waylon Galvez)