Philippine basketball

Kevin Quiambao cautions against complacency as La Salle zeroes in on UAAP title repeat

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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Kevin Quiambao cautions against complacency as La Salle zeroes in on UAAP title repeat

COOL. Kevin Quiambao in action for the La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP Season 86 men's basketball finals.

UAAP

Reigning UAAP MVP Kevin Quiambao steers La Salle away from resting on its laurels despite ruling multiple preseason leagues by wide margins

MANILA, Philippines – After UAAP Season 86 MVP Kevin Quiambao hoisted the final shot in their preseason championship loss against the UP Fighting Maroons, he pulled out two thumbs up to the La Salle crowd as if to say everything is fine and dandy for the Green Archers.

However, Quiambao warned of the laxness La Salle showed versus perennial rival UP, which cost it the FilOIl EcoOil preseason title despite leading by 20 points at halftime.

“We should have never gotten complacent,” said Quiambao in Filipino. “A loss is a loss, but we got a lot of learnings from UP. We now just have to move on from this.”

Quiambao had 14 points on 6-of-25 shooting from the field as the Fighting Maroons deployed multiple defenders for him throughout the game.

The 22-year-old also only made a single three-pointer out of his 8 attempts, and his lone make did not come until the final two minutes of the game.

“For next season, we want to be a better team, not just me, because we don’t want to cram late in games anymore,” said Quiambao.

The Green Archers have been dominating preseason leagues after their UAAP conquest last December, ruling the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup with an undefeated record in May, and snagging the Pinoyliga Collegiate Cup title in June.

Despite being a cut above their competition in other leagues, La Salle lost twice in the FilOIl preseason tilt to the Fighting Maroons.

For Quiambao, La Salle’s focus remains on what they can control within the team, forsaking the rivalry built across the past two UAAP seasons.

“We don’t think UP as our rival. We don’t think of any rivalry. We only think of what we are capable of as a team. We also try to focus on us, not on our opponents,” Quiambao said.

For now, Quiambao seeks a little bit of rest as his body recovers from the wear-and-tear of the offseason tournaments, academic responsibilities, and his “ligang labas” games.

“I will get some rest some real rest first,” Quiambao said. “I feel like my body would not hold up with all these games. But, of course, keeping in touch with my team here in La Salle will always be a priority.

As a national team member, Quiambao will also be on Gilas Pilipinas duties in the coming weeks in preparation for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia, slated for July 2 to 7.
“Gilas will be my next assignment. Hopefully, I get to rest up and remain in shape,” Quiambao added.

As he remains one of the most sought-after collegiate athletes today, Quiambao reaffirmed his commitment to his school, putting a premium on La Salle’s title retention next year.

“For me, we are still a long way to go, but have already gone a long way. Everything is a work in progress for me and La Salle. By the time of the UAAP (season), hopefully we are at our best and ready to compete again.” – Rappler.com

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