UAAP Basketball

UAAP Player of the Week Kevin Quiambao leads La Salle to all-important wins

JR Isaga
UAAP Player of the Week Kevin Quiambao leads La Salle to all-important wins

YOUNG SENSATION. Kevin Quiambao fuels La Salle's Final Four hopes.

UAAP

With La Salle's UAAP Final Four campaign in peril, the Green Archers turn to rookie star Kevin Quiambao to kickstart their much-needed winning run

MANILA, Philippines – Prior to the 12-day league break for the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers, the La Salle Green Archers were on the verge of a disappointing UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball campaign.

Lagging as far behind as seventh in the standings due to a mix of poor play, injuries, and suspensions, the perennial Final Four contenders found a new lease on life in the form of Gilas Pilipinas prospect Kevin Quiambao, who stepped up when it mattered most in the Archers’ next two must-win games.

After tallying a modest 8 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 4 rebounds in a crucial 81-78 win over Adamson that ended with a CJ Austria buzzer-beater, Quiambao took center stage in La Salle’s 82-80 escape over defending champion UP, which saw its seven-game winning streak snapped.

The 6-foot-8 forward scored 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to go with 9 boards as the Archers exacted revenge on the Fighting Maroons after a heartbreaking 72-69 loss in the first round of the tournament.

For his efforts, Quiambao was awarded the Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week presented by the San Miguel Corporation and the Philippine Sports Commission.

The season’s Rookie of the Year frontrunner edged out his heroic teammate Austria, UP’s James Spencer, and NU’s John Lloyd Clemente in a close vote for the award deliberated upon by media covering the collegiate beat, with MNL Kingpin, Tinapayan Festival, and Jockey as minor sponsors.

“I only had two points in the first half [against UP] and it reminded me of my first game where I had rookie jitters,” Quiambao said in Filipino.

“I told myself that can’t happen again, so I stepped up even though they were already ahead.”

As morale-boosting as the string of triumphs was for the Taft-based squad, it’s not keen on lowering its guard anytime soon when it sets its sights on edging Adamson for the fourth and final playoff seed as UP, NU, and Ateneo have already punched their tickets in. – Rappler.com

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