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Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, Ira Bataller commit to Letran Knights

Defending NCAA seniors' basketball champions Letran Knights introduced Tuesday their three newest commits -- Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and Ira Bataller.

The three were scooped up from the embattled UST Growling Tigers program, which saw five of their players and its head coach exit the team following a controversial training bubble in Sorsogon.

"We are proud to add Rhenz Abando, Brent Paraiso, and Ira Bataller to our program," said Letran head coach Bonnie Tan.

Abando rose to prominence last year courtesy of his above-the-rim play and clutch shooting for UST. In the team's Cinderella season, he averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks.

Paraiso will be adding championship experience to Letran, having won a title with the DLSU Green Archers in 2017. In his only campaign for UST, the guard played 19 games and averaged 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists.

Bataller, meanwhile, was one of UST's starting forwards and averaged 1.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists, playing all 19 games.

Per NCAA residency rules, Abando and Bataller could play up to three more seasons in Letran, while Paraiso could play for two. Red shirt years will not be counted against transfers.

In addition, the three could suit up for the upcoming NCAA Season 96, provided that they finish two semesters, and the basketball tournament start beyond May 2021.

"Their addition is certainly a huge boost to our program as they also bring their experiences to our championship core. Our team management, staff, and I have also done our homework on how we can easily integrate them into our team," Tan said. "We definitely can't wait to work with them once we can return to the gym. But for now, we will guide them to becoming true Letranistas."