RJ Abarrientos carries no pressure from KBL to B.League

RJ Abarrientos. Photo from Ulsan Mobis Phoebus

MANILA, Philippines—Carrying the distinction of the Korean Basketball League’s Rookie of the Year won’t be any problem for RJ Abarrientos as he jumps to the Japanese B.League.

During the league’s preseason online press conference on Wednesday, Abarrientos said that winning the KBL’s ROY title isn’t giving adding pressure on him to deliver re for his new team Shinshu Brave Warriors.

“I don’t think it’s going to add pressure during my first year in Japan. I just want to play basketball and enjoy the game,” Abarrientos said.

“That rookie of the year was something special, but this is the Japan B. League, the next league for me to showcase my talent.”

Abarrientos was hailed by the KBL as 2023’s best rookie for the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus before things got complicated.

Ulsan made the decision to terminate Abarrientos’ contract a few months ago after the guard expressed interest in playing for another league.

The Far Eastern University product had at least two more years to play for Ulsan from his Hyundai Mobis Phoebus contract.

Abarrientos played stellar for Mobis Phoebus in 51 games, helping the squad reach the KBL Playoffs. He posted norms of 13.6 points, 4.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Now in a new uniform, Abarrientos said he’s carrying the same confidence he wore back in Korea.

“You know, my confidence is there always. We know that the Japan B. League is one of the toughest leagues in Asia, but for me, as a professional athlete, I need to be more ready, physically and mentally to help the team.”

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