Abando keeping his fingers crossed after Game 1 injury

Published May 15, 2022, 8:58 PM

by Reynald I. Magallon

Rhenz Abando is keeping his fingers crossed on the extent of his ankle injury that forced him out in the final quarter of Letran’s 68-63 triumph in the Game 1 of the NCAA Season 97 Finals.

Photo from GMA NCAA

Abando went down with an apparent ankle sprain after landing on the foot of teammate Louie Sangalang after soaring for a one-handed putback off a Brent Paraiso miss at the 3:20 mark of the third frame.

The 6-foot-3 high leaper had to be carried out of the floor and never came back to the game although he managed to walk on his own and return to the Knights’ bench in the fourth quarter.

“Masakit talaga ‘di ko talaga makaya yung sakit kaya napadaasal na lang ako na sana mag step-up po yung iba,” said Abando who is set to undergo an X-ray tonight to determine the extent of the injury.

The Knights were trailing the Cardinals, 47-45, when Abando went down with the injury and only watched from the bench during the waning moments of the game.

“Kanina sobrang nalulungkot ako kasi kailangan na kailangan ako tapos may nangyari pa sa akin na ganito nagdasal na lang talaga ako na sana mag step-up yung mga teammate ko,” said Abando.

Good thing, Fran Yu and Jeo Ambohot answered the call and delivered the key baskets down the stretch to help Letran score the come-from-behind win and move on cusp of its 19th NCAA crown and possibly a season sweep.

Although there’s still some swelling on his left ankle, Abando is hopeful that the one-week break before the Game 2 on Sunday would be enough for him to recover and help the Knights close out the series.

“Sa akin relax lang muna tsaka ko na muna isipin yun (prospect of winning the title), isipin ko muna yung preparation namin sa team and sa sarili ko na makarecover ako agad pag dumating yung time na yun focus kami dun and gagawin namin kung anong ipapagawa ng coaches sa amin.”