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Kevin Quiambao plays down matchup vs ex-NUNS teammates: ‘It’s DLSU vs UP’

Kevin Quiambao has finally reached the stage he envisioned to play at when he enrolled at De La Salle University — the UAAP finals.

Quiambao is off to the big dance along with the rest of the De La Salle Green Archers after they dispatched the NU Bulldogs 97-73 in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

It will be the first time La Salle will play in the Finals for the first time since Season 80 and are set to face UP.

For Quiambao personally, it promises to be an interesting match-up.

He will go up against Senegalese center Malick Diouf, who is his closest rival in the race to be this season’s Most Valuable Player, as well as Coach Goldwin Monteverde whom he played under as part of the NU Bullpups.

Also part of UP are some of his Bullpups teammates, Harold Alarcon, Janjan Felicilda, Reyland Torres, Cyrill Gonzales, Terrence Fortea, and Gerry Abadiano.UAAP82-BOYS-BB-FINALS-2ND-PHOTO-NU-1 Kevin Quiambao plays down matchup vs ex-NUNS teammates: 'It's DLSU vs UP' Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“For me naman, it’s not me versus Diouf. It’s DLSU vs UP in the finals. Yung total team effort ipapakita namin,” the 6-foot-4 ‘point forward’ said.

“Focus lang kami sa present knowing na kilala ako ni Coach Gold dahil nakasama ko siya sa NU. Bibigay ko lang yung best ko every day and pe-prepare well lang ako para sa Finals. Kailangan lang namin maging grounded pag tapos nitong laro na to.”

Without a doubt, Quiambao is the most impressive Green Archer to compete in the UAAP since the likes of Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng have represented Green and White.

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The 22-year-old stalwart out of Muntinlupa has been so impressive this year that he produced two triple-double performances in the elimination round against the Bulldogs last October 28 and the UE Red Warriors last November 12.

For context, before the La Salle sophomore put up those two triple-doubles, the most recent one to do so was CJ Cansino back in Season 81 against the UE Red Warriors on October 28, 2018.

Now that foreign ballclubs are recruiting some of the country’s top collegiate prospects, people are wondering if Quiambao will be next.

Topex Robinson, the current La Salle head coach, spoke his mind about that lingering question with some humor by sounding out his young protege to return in Season 87.UAAP86-MBB-Coach-Topex-Ronbinson-Kevin-Quiambao-2472 Kevin Quiambao plays down matchup vs ex-NUNS teammates: 'It's DLSU vs UP' Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“At the end of the day, our vision is for these guys to always be at their best,” said Robinson. “It just so happened that we’re playing now and we’re playing in the finals and having the chance to be part of that winning tradition, that winning culture.

“But we’re looking far beyond Season 86 for these guys who are in their final year and hopefully guys who will stay. It’s about making sure that they will always be remembered for the way they played,” the first-year Green Archers head coach furthered.

“No matter what happens in the finals, we want to make sure that we will honor these guys who are in their final year and hopefully the guy that’s gonna stay will keep the fire alive because there’s gonna be a big responsibility now,” he stressed.

“I’m sure Kevin is excited for next season but he wants to enjoy this season first together with our two graduating players (Mark Nonoy and Evan Nelle).”

Only time will tell if Quiambao and La Salle can annex the UAAP Season 86 crown at the expense of Diouf, Monteverde, and UP. It also remains to be seen if this is his last year as a Green Archer.

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Whatever happens down the line, he is determined to give everything for the Green and White in its last games for the season.UAAP86-MBB-Kevin-Quiambao-2345 Kevin Quiambao plays down matchup vs ex-NUNS teammates: 'It's DLSU vs UP' Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“First of all masaya and blessed na meron kaming opportunity na makapaglaro sa finals pero yun nga, laging pinapaalala sa amin ni coach Topex na madaming learnings na nakuha especially sa first half pero move on,” he said.

“Kailangan namin mag-focus sa UP at magpahinga para ready kami sa Wednesday.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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