Asian basketball

Kevin Quiambao absorbing lessons from NBA talent

Philip Matel

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Kevin Quiambao absorbing lessons from NBA talent

STILL GOING. Kevin Quiambao practices with Strong Group for a Dubai tournament.

STRONG GROUP ATHLETICS

La Salle stalwart Kevin Quiambao says he’s relishing the ‘learning process’ as the UAAP MVP plays alongside former NBA star Dwight Howard, defensive specialist Andre Roberson, and ex-Gilas Pilipinas standout Andray Blatche

MANILA, Philippines – Barely two months after winning the UAAP Season 86 Most Valuable Player and the men’s basketball championship with La Salle, Kevin Quiambao seeks to level up even further in his play – courtesy of bona fide NBA talent.

From playing with collegiate teammates, Quiambao now has the luxury of learning under eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard, defensive specialist Andre Roberson, and Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Andray Blatche.

“They hold a huge influence over me knowing that I still have a young career, I learn a lot every day, I just take everything I could learn,” Quiambao told Rappler during Strong Group’s practice session in Makati on Wednesday, January 10.

“I just relish the learning process and whatever they say, I just take advantage of it and I will take their advice for my whole career,” he added.

The Strong Group squad will see action on January 19 to 28 in the 2024 Dubai International Basketball Championship, a pocket tournament featuring some of the best teams in the Middle East. 

Still with his La Salle mentor coach Topex Robinson – who’s serving as Strong Group’s deputy – the 6-foot-4 Quiambao is slowly adjusting to the rigors of international basketball as a wing.

“As early as December, coach Charles (Tiu) told me that I cannot play as a four (forward) because it’s the international level,” said Quiambao, who became the first local player since 2015 to earn the UAAP MVP honors after pouring 16.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 6.0  assists, and 1.9 steals during the eliminations.

He also authored quality stats of 14.7 points and 9.3 rebounds on top of 2.7 assists and 1.7 blocks in the title series, winning the Finals MVP in the Green Archers’ first championship since 2016.

“I’m really a wing, I developed [my skills] every day, adjusted everything to becoming a wing.”

Watch out, UAAP. — Rappler.com

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