Abando, Anyang clash with Seoul in EASL Final Four match in Cebu

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RHENZ ABANDO, who played for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup, makes his anticipated Philippine comeback with Korean mother club Anyang Jung Kwan Jang in the East Asia Super League (EASL) Final Four at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu 

Mr. Abando, who suffered multiple back injuries after a freak fall from mid-air in the Korean Basketball League, has fully recovered and already suited up for Anyang last week.

The high-flying winger didn’t skip a beat with a smooth outing of 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals in Anyang’s 92-87 win.

Now, he’s all set for homecoming as Anyang seeks another EASL title against another KBL standout Seoul SK Knights in the Final Four that also features Japan B. league’s Chiba Jets against the New Taipei of the P. League+.

Mr. Abando and Anyang, who are already in Cebu, ruled the EASL Champions Week and the KBL last year against Seoul.

His full recovery, however, coincided with the hand injury of Seoul’s Juan Gomez de Liaño, who underwent a season-ending surgery, to spoil an exciting duel between two Filipino imports in front of Cebuano fans in the Queen City of the South. Anyang takes on Seoul at 5 p.m. Thursday followed by the battle between Chiba and New Taipei at 8 p.m. in the knockout semis with the winners duking it out for the crown on Sunday. At stake in the EASL Final Four, backed by the Philippine Airlines, Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort, TikTok, Anta, McDonald’s and Spalding, is a whopping $1 million grand prize.

Prior to the arrival of EASL teams, Philippine Ambassador to Korea Maria Theresa B. Dizon-De Vega attended the game of Rhenz Abando along with embassy officials and members of the local Filipino community to send off the former NCAA Rookie-Most Valuable Player (MVP) from Letran and the rest of Anyang Jung Kwan Jang in their EASL title bid. — John Bryan Ulanday

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