Don Allado says Kevin Quiambao can lead La Salle to UAAP title
MANILA, Philippines — Don Allado, the last La Salle local to win Most Valuable Player, marveled at Kevin Quiambao’s stellar season, believing that winning the top honor would be more fitting if he is able to lead the Green Archers to the championship.
Allado, who emerged as the top individual player in 1998 and 1999, hopes Quiambao’s achievement will not stop with one MVP award, wishing he would also win another in the Finals by ending La Salle’s seven-year title drought.
“Well, I do hope that he gets it. Since I’m the last local MVP that’s won it back-to-back, and even in the Finals, MVP back-to-back, it’s very fitting for the MVP to go to Kevin Quiambao,” said Allado on Monday during the ring ceremony for the 1998-2001 and 2016 La Salle teams.
“Sana makuha din niya ang Finals MVP. Hindi po kasi yan madali. Mahirap yan kunin (I hope he gets the Finals MVP. It’s not easy) but I think he can do it,” he added.
— Lance Agcaoili (@LanceAgcaoilINQ) November 27, 2023
Quiambao, the Season 85 Rookie of the Year, has emerged as the biggest star for the Green Archers this season. Behind Quiambao, who notched a pair of triple-doubles in the elimination round, La Salle will enter the Finals riding a nine-game winning streak.
The Gilas cadet is on pace to be the first local MVP since Ateneo guard Kiefer Ravena in 2015 and the first Green Archer since Ben Mbala’s back-to-back run in 2016 and 2017.
Allado, who became an assistant coach for University of the East, sees the sophomore’s rapid growth as a vital factor that would help in bringing La Salle’s 10th crown.
“Kevin is a great talent. He has a high IQ. He’s very physically fit. And so I think and I know from what I’ve seen, siyempre I scout him, he is very worthy of having and getting the MVP award,” said Allado, who led La Salle to the first two titles of their ‘four-peat’. “But, more importantly he is worthy and deserving of leading this team to the championship which is much more and way more important than personal accolades.”
Allad believes the Green Archers have a great chance against the UP Fighting Maroons in their title duel starting on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I think La Salle has a great chance against UP if we’re able to minimize a few key points of UP which is No. 1 their running game, and of course their execution on their half court. If we’re able to minimize those key points for UP, we will have a great chance of winning this series,” Allado said.
The former PBA player received his two championship rings in a ceremony organized by his former teammates Mayor Francis Zamora, Renren Ritualo, Mon Jose, and Dominic Uy.
“I’m very honored. It’s been a long time coming. We’re able to reflect on what we did in 1999 and celebrate the anniversary 25th, silver anniversary and we’re very fortunate that La Salle and the alumni are doing this for us,” he said.