Kevin Quiambao ‘surprised’ by UP defense, takes blame for La Salle loss
MANILA, Philippines — Kevin Quiambao admitted La Salle got caught off guard by the University of the Philippines in their blowout loss in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Just hours after he was named the Season Most Valuable Player, Quiambao wasn’t his usual self being limited to 11 points, six rebounds, and three assists. He was also a minus 22 in La Salle’s 97-67 defeat.
“For me, nagulat ako sa different looks na binigay nila and ‘di ako nakapag adjust kaagad and ayun my fault rin syempre kasi isa ako sa mga leader ng team. Kailangan ko lang mag adjust and kailangan ko lang mag move on sa larong ‘to,” Quiambao said.
“I think hindi lang kami nakapag execute nang maayos and ayun nga na out of system kami. Good thing tapos na tong Game One, move on na kami sa Game 2,” he added.
Quiambao said he played out of coach Topex Robinson’s system and they lacked resiliency as their nine-game winning streak was snapped by UP’s airtight defense after shooting 2-of-23 from beyond the arc and committed 18 turnovers that allowed the Maroons to score 24 points off it.
“I think yung resiliency ng team is hindi namin nakita throughout the game and madami kaming kailangang i work on lalo na sa sarili ko kasi ayun nga isa ako sa inaasahan ng team so kailangan ko lang i-improve kung ano pa yung pwede kong i-improve,” said Quiambao.
“Para sa akin hindi lang ako naglaro under sa system ni coach, medyo na out of system ako so ayun siguro sa familiarity naman (niya sakin) wala naman siguro kasi magkaiba naman ng sistema.”
The La Salle star has no time to cry over spilled milk as he vows to bounce back next game and play true to form.
“For us, yung mindset namin kailangan naming ibahin, yung approach namin sa game medyo na disappoint talaga ako sa pinakita ko so this coming Game Two expect niyo na ibang Kevin Quiambao yung lalaro,” he said.
“Ang mindset lang is yung lagi kong sinasabi na one game at a time. Focus muna kami sa Game Two, kailangan lang namin kung ano pa yung pwede namin i-improve and then yung i cover up yung mga things yung mga pagkakamali namin.”
Quiambao will officially be crowned as MVP in Game 2 on Sunday but his only focus is to keep La Salle’s title hopes alive and force a rubber match.
“For me, hindi ko nanaman iniisip yung MVP award, siguro iisipin ko lang kung ano yung kailangan namin next game dahil sobrang halaga na ng Game Two,” Quiambao said.