Now the hunted, Archers being readied for fight like no other | Inquirer Sports

Now the hunted, Archers being readied for fight like no other

La Salle's Kevin Quiambao

La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao–MARLO CUETO/

With Kevin Quiambao promising to come back for at least another UAAP season for La Salle, coach Topex Robinson at least will have the complete tools to take on the challenge that Season 87 will present later in the year.

“All the seven [other] teams right now for sure will come out with guns blazing, because we used to be the hunters and winning a championship makes you the hunted,” Robinson told the Inquirer during the holidays as he starts work early for his intrepid Green Archers.


“How we’re gonna get better, how we’re gonna make sure that these boys or these men will be at their natural best [is the challenge],” Robinson went on. “That is what we always focus on and not really on the things that we cannot control.”


Robinson gave the UAAP title back to La Salle in his first year, and Quiambao won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Finals MVP awards in his second season, making the duo an extremely important part of the program that wants to obviously continue to reign longer.

So when Quiambao made his decision to stay and shun lucrative offers to play pro abroad, Robinson was the first one that was pleased.

“I’ve been a big fan of KQ ever since, and I am not the only person that has so much belief or appreciation for that kid,” Robinson said. “He just took it to a different level this season.

“It’s really what we expect him to achieve, [but] maybe in his fifth year or fourth year,” Robinson continued, speaking in awe. “He did it in his second year and that’s how special he is.”

The hunters

The next championship will not be contested until the next 10 months or so, and La Salle, and all the other teams for that matter, will still have plenty of time to get better.

Ateneo has already lost three players in Kai Ballungay, Jared Brown and Joe Obasa, and the Blue Eagles will be rebooting their program by digging deep into a well of talent that Tab Baldwin has identified through the past couple of years.


National University will remain to be a force, and so is University of the Philippines, the runner-up to different teams in the last two seasons, as the Fighting Maroons regroup in order to duplicate their magic of Season 84.

And then there’s University of Santo Tomas, which won just one game last season after Pido Jarencio took over. But the Growling Tigers have been on a recruitment frenzy for the past months that assures they will be a force come the next season.

University of the East, Adamson and Far Eastern University also have solid programs that no one can really expect what will happen when the new war starts.

Robinson, though, knows what’s coming.

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“One thing is for sure, if you don’t prepare to compete at a high level, it doesn’t matter whichever team it is, they have the capacity to beat you.”

TAGS: Kevin Quiambao, La Salle, Topex Robinson, UAAP

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