During the celebration interviews after De La Salle University ended its seven-year title drought in UAAP Men’s Basketball, Kevin Quiambao told the record 25,192 crowd inside the SMART Araneta Coliseum that he will be back next year.
In his message to the Green Archers’ community in the live TV interview, the sophomore forward said: “Salamat sa suporta mula nung first round… One more year!”
However, quick to take a U-turn was the 22-year-old Quiambao in the post-game interview in the media working area.
Quiambao still has three more years of eligibility but talks about him going pro has been going on for a while.
And those talks got louder as Quiambao improved tremendously this year, winning Season MVP and Finals MVP, being the first men’s division player to do so since Arwind Santos did it in Season 68 back in 2005.
In the elimination round, the Nazareth School of National University product tallied 16.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1.9 steals.
In the three-game finale, he went for 14.66 points, 9.33 rebounds, 2.33 assists, and 2.0 blocks, including an effort of 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two blocks in the decider that brought the championship back to La Salle for the first time in seven years.
The 6-foot-6 all-around player’s skillset was said to be fit for international standard as he molds his game to NBA MVP Nikola Jokic – an ongoing trend for big men these days.
“For now, magbabakasyon kasi ako sa Japan sa December 15. Bakasyon lang. Hindi ko pa alam,” Quiambao told members of the press.
Japan is home to the B.League, where multiple Filipino ballers play right now – including his good friend Carl Tamayo – which explained his need to reiterate that he’s going to the Land of the Rising Sun for vacation only and visit his mother.
When asked if he had some international offers on the table, the Muntinlupa native also stayed mum.
“I think ano muna bawal muna sabihin.”