- May 27, 2022 10:42
Former Far Eastern University (FEU) men's basketball team top rookie Rhonjay “RJ” Abarrientos was thankful to his experiences in FEU as he played in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) this year despite a one-and-done season with the Tamaraws.
“[Dahil sa] pagiging leader ko sa age ko ngayon na nakuha ko sa FEU, nabigyan din ako ng chance ng mga coach sa Korea [na maglead], isa ako sa mga vocal leader so ‘yun ‘yung mga nakuha ko na na-apply ko sa Korea kaya sobrang nagpapasalamat ako sa FEU lalo na sa mga teammates ko ([Because of] being a leader at my age now which I got in FEU, the coaches in Korea gave me a chance [to lead], I'm one of the vocal leaders so those are the things I got that I applied to Korea so I'm very thankful for FEU especially my teammates),” he said in an interview with FEU Advocate.
Abarrientos also shared that the friendly environment with FEU was a huge help in gaining a connection with his Korean teammates.
“Nakatulong talaga sakin ‘yung the way na makisama sa mga teammates ko before sa FEU kasi iba kasi ‘yung culture sa FEU simula high school to college (The way I got along with my teammates before in FEU really helped me because the culture in FEU was different starting from high school to college),” he added.
The former FEU guard signed a three-year contract with the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus as he left the team to become the second Filipino to join KBL last June 2022.
In his first international stint, Abarrientos bagged the KBL Rookie of the Year award averaging 13.6 points, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.9 rebounds in 51 games where his team finished fourth place.
The 23-year old will be back in Korea to play two more seasons for Ulsan in hopes to claim the crown in the Korean basketball tourney.
Abarrientos graced the “My Korea Story” event alongside former Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagle SJ Belangel to talk about their journey in the international basketball scene at the Korean Cultural Center in Taguig earlier today, June 3.
-Leiniel A. Santos
(Photo by Alyssa Andrea Quiogue/FEU Advocate)