FIBA Asia Cup

Pass-first Kevin Quiambao ‘makes life easier’ for Gilas Pilipinas

Delfin Dioquino
Pass-first Kevin Quiambao ‘makes life easier’ for Gilas Pilipinas

BREAKTHROUGH. Kevin Quiambao and Gilas Pilipinas earn their first win in the FIBA Asia Cup.

FIBA

Kevin Quiambao showcases his passing skills by dishing out 9 assists in Gilas Pilipinas' rout of India in the FIBA Asia Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Knowing that a big man like Kevin Quiambao can spot open teammates makes life easier for Gilas Pilipinas.

Head coach Chot Reyes and Thirdy Ravena praised Quiambao for his passing skills as he issued 9 assists in the Philippines’ 101-59 rout of India in the FIBA Asia Cup on Friday, July 15.

Quiambao also finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds to help the Filipinos earn their first win of the tournament, which virtually secured them a spot in the knockout stage.

“Definitely love being with him on the court. It is not every day that you come across such an intelligent and aggressive passer in Kevin,” said Ravena, who had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

“When the defense reacts to whatever our offense does and he has the ball? He is most likely be able to spot that in an instant and just kick it, give you the assist.”

“Being with a guy like him inside the court makes life so much easier.”

Through two games, Quiambao leads the team with 6.5 assists, accounting for almost one-third of their average of 21.5 dimes.

“Distributing the ball from a big man position is a little bit rare in our game nowadays. Very fortunate and proud of what he has been doing,” Ravena said.

While Quiambao has been a revelation, Reyes said they had their eyes on the rising La Salle star for a long time.

“That is really the strength of his game and he has shown it since the first time he joined this team,” Reyes said. “It is a luxury for us to have such a good passer in that position.”

Reyes, though, noted that Quiambao needs to learn when to dish the ball out, especially with a formidable foe like New Zealand standing in the Philippines’ way on Sunday, July 17.

“He just now has to be able to pick his spots,” Reyes said. “There were times we felt in the last game that the openings were not there and he was trying to make it, force those passes.”

“For sure, New Zealand is going to be different.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.