UAAP: La Salle's Kevin Quiambao, NU's Jainaba Konateh lead second round surge | Inquirer Sports
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UAAP: La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao, NU’s Jainaba Konateh lead second round surge

/ 03:14 PM November 14, 2023

Kevin Quiambao La Salle UAAP

La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — La Salle and National University continued to be cut above the rest in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as the only unbeaten squads so far heading into the Final Four, thanks to Kevin Quiambao and Jainaba Konateh, respectively.

While Quiambao registered a rare second triple-double outing to bring La Salle back to the Final Four, Konateh also steered the semifinal-bound NU to its ninth straight win.

Displaying all-around brilliance in the past week, Quiambao for the second time and Konateh were feted by the Collegiate Press Corps as the UAAP Men’s and Women’s Players of the Week for November 4 to 12.

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The sophomore forward delivered another sensational triple-double after unleashing 17 points, 19 rebounds, and 12 assists to go with four steals and two blocks in the team’s 86-76 win over University of the East, becoming the first player in modern league history to register more than one triple-double in a single season.

Quiambao previously scattered 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists in La Salle’s 88-78 revenge win over NU for the league’s first triple-double since 2018.

One of La Salle’s biggest breakthroughs in the ongoing round came after its 88-79 victory over the University of the Philippines which saw Quiambao drop 22 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals.

Against Adamson, its tormentor in a rare Finals Four miss last season, the Green Archers claimed their ticket back to the semis with a 69-57 victory behind the 22-year-old Quiambao’s 11 points and 11 rebounds.

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The MVP frontrunner has been nothing short of consistent in the Green Archers’ twice-to-beat bid, something that he’s constantly insisted he owed to the coaching staff’s system.

“Kevin is really a blessing to have for coaches, you have a coach’s dream and he’s one of those guys that I’m so fortunate to coach. He and these guys just make my life easier,” said head coach Topex Robinson.

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“One good thing about Kevin is he makes everybody around him look good. That just shows how much he really cares for this team more than obviously getting that individual award or winning a championship.”

Quiambao averaged 16.7 points, 14.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.7 steals in the past three games as La Salle stretched its winning streak to six and became the unanimous choice of print and online scribes.

He edged out NU’s Jake Figueroa, Ateneo’s Joseph Obasa, and UP’s CJ Cansino for the weekly honors.

Jainaba Konateh NU Lady Bulldogs UAAP

NU’s Jainaba Konateh.–UAAP PHOTO

Meanwhile, Konateh also continued to shine for the eight-peat seeking Lady Bulldogs in Season 86.

With nine wins in a row, NU clinched at least a playoff for one of the two coveted twice-to-beat berths in commanding style following its 75-57 win over the UE Lady Warriors.

Konateh has also been rock-solid for the Lady Bulldogs on the defensive end especially in their 77-76 escape over University of Santo Tomas that saw her deliver a reliable performance of eight points and 16 rebounds before eventually coming through with a double-double outing of 17 points and 17 rebounds in the squad’s ensuing 73-64 rout of the La Salle Lady Archers.

With averages of 10.0 points and 13.0 rebounds, Konateh beat UST’s Kent Pastrana, Ateneo’s Junize Calago, and UP’s Favour Onoh for the weekly nod.

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“I’m glad Jainaba had a foul-trouble-free game. She just played ‘yong role niya of getting the rebounds and trying to score if she had the opportunity. This is the type of win that we would really be happy with,” said head coach Aris Dimaunahan in Konateh’s performance against the Lady Archers.

TAGS: Kevin Quiambao, La Salle Green Archers, NU Lady Bulldogs, UAAP Season 86

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