UAAP: Kevin Quiambao shows product of offseason ‘grind’ in La Salle win
MANILA, Philippines — Kevin Quiambao’s hard work in the offseason quickly showed when he led La Salle to a winning start in the UAAP Season 86 on Sunday.
Playing in his best shape yet, Quiambao dropped a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds on top of three assists as the Green Archers beat Far Eastern University, 87-76, at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-foot-8 big man credited coach Topex Robinson, who inspired him to take his game to the next level.
“First of all, coach Topex sees my potential and then, I realized that I want to level up and the grind is addicting. I want to achieve something in life not just in basketball,” Quiambao shared. “Every time I work out in the gym, I am stress-free. Good thing the [fitness] program of coach coach Migs Aytona is related to the system of coach Topex. So far, so good.”
Quiambao came to the rescue when La Salle saw its 20-point lead dwindle down to seven late in the fourth. The reigning Rookie of the Year made timely players including the game-sealing turnaround jumper, 86-73, with 52 seconds left.
“It’s more on following the system. FEU made a late run but I can’t be on a takeover mode alone. I still need to play within the system and within the flow. Good thing we were able to execute and we’re thankful we got the win,” Quiambao said.
Quiambao is eager to help La Salle rise from missing the Final Four last year especially after missing the Archers’ last two games due to COVID-19.
The 22-year-old seeks to keep their momentum going against archrival and defending champion Ateneo on Wednesday, 6 p.m., at MOA Arena.
“For me, this is a new challenge as coach Topex said. We have to stay focused and continue improving. It’s good to share the floor in the Ateneo-La Salle rivalry. Nonetheless, I am so excited and see you Wednesday,” Quiambao said.