Ever since he was an aspiring cager, Kib Montalbo had always dreamed of representing Bacolod one day.
“Dati kasi, nanonood ako ng Negros Slashers, so I wanted to play for Bacolod.
“Yaya ko dati, nagchi-cheer lagi dati. Doon ko nasimulang makita na yung mga taga-Bacolod talaga, grabe yung love for basketball,” the 21-year-old guard shared.
However, Montalbo did not have a chance to suit up for new MPBL club team Bacolod Master’s Sardines, as the Makati Super Crunch had already tapped him before the team was formed.
So when Makati took on Bacolod on Friday evening, Montalbo was extra motivated. Though there were plenty of fellow Ilonggos on the other side, he was out for blood.
“Hyped ako nung una kaya nung first half, dalawang foul ako, nilabas ako agad. Gigil ako, super,” admitted Montalbo.
“Pagdating kasi sa court, competition, I don’t care if you’re my brother, I don’t care if you’re my best friend. Pagdating sa court talaga, yung pagkain yung pinag-uusapan namin eh. Yung bola talaga, yun pagkain namin eh.”
Montalbo ended up getting the win over his hometown team, as Makati defeated Bacolod, 74-64. But he had mixed emotions after the game.
“I love Makati, I love my teammates here. Ganun talaga, professional world na tayo eh, so ganun talaga,” said Montalbo, who is a product of St. John’s Institute in Bacolod.
“Ang sarap lang kalaban kasi Ilonggo lahat eh.”
Still, Montalbo is not closing his doors on one day playing for Bacolod.
“Dami ko ngang nakikita sa comments na transfer ka na [sa] Bacolod. I have a contract eh, pero yeah, why not?” he said.
“Pero papa-draft muna ako sa PBA. Then we’ll see what happens after.”
For now, though, he can’t wait to play in front of the his fellow Ilonggos when the MPBL heads there come August.
“Pupunta kami dun sa August, Pampanga kalaban,” he said. “At least hindi ako ibu-boo.
“For sure, daming manoonood niyan. Alam ko passion ng taga-Bacolod eh. “