Johnny Abarrientos is a Filipino retired professional basketball player in the PBA. He was also a many-time member of the Philippine National team, and was the 1996 PBA MVP, becoming the shortest player to win the league’s highest individual award.
Alaska selected Johnny Abarrientos 3rd overall in the 1993 PBA Draft and showed impressive performances in his rookie season. In his second season, he was included in the RP National team bound for the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima, Japan.
From 1994-1998, Johnny Abarrientos led Alaska to eight PBA titles, including the grand slam winning 1996 season. He was named as the Most Valuable Player during the same season and the Best Player of the Conference in the Commissioner’s Cup.
In 1997, talks of Abarrientos’ potential participation in the NBA came, when Charlotte Hornets scout Joe Bettancourt offered Johnny Abarrientos a contract to participate in the Hornets’ pre-season camp. Abarrientos, though, declined the offer to concentrate on his pro career in the PBA. In 1997 Abarrientos average a career high 16.7 Points and a league leading 8.6 assists per game. In 1998, Abarrientos was included in the Philippine Centennial Team, coached by his Alaska mentor Tim Cone. With him, Alvin Patrimonio and fellow Alaska teammates Kenneth Duremdes, Bong Hawkins and Jojo Lastimosa, the Nationals took home the bronze medal in the Bangkok Asian Games.
Two years later, Abarrientos was named in the PBA’s 25 Greatest Players of All-Time as part of the league’s anniversary on April 9, 2000. During the same year, Abarrientos’ career started to diminish despite the Aces winning the All-Filipino crown. After the season, Abarrientos and Poch Juinio were swapped to the Pop Cola Panthers for Ali Peek and Jon Ordonio.