Kevin Quiambao had an evening to forget for De La Salle University.
The leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award for the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Basketball Tournament only had six points – behind two-out-of-eight shooting – as well as eight rebounds and three assists to go along with six turnovers in La Salle’s 54-68 loss to archrival Ateneo de Manila University.
The former National University Bullpup even had the ignominy of being given a technical foul for faking one when he tried to fish for an infraction at Dave Ildefonso’s expense in the second quarter.
“Siguro yung third quarter meltdown namin. Kumbaga we scored only 10 points nung third quarter and yung adjustment namin nung third, kumbaga we came out flat,” said Quiambao. “Yan yung kailangan naming i-work on since may 11 days na break.
“May mga times talaga na lagi kaming nag-me-meltdown third quarter or fourth quarter. Kailangan namin i-improve yun. Sa tingin ko, player-wise, skills-wise, kaya naman namin,” he continued.
‘Kailangan lang namin mag-stay solid. Kumbaga pag dumadaan kami sa mga tough times, yun lang yung kailangan namin i-improve.”
Unknown to many, the 6-foot-4 forward has been taking up double duty for school and country. As a member of the current Gilas Pilipinas pool, he has to show up to practice with his fellow national team comrades while juggling his obligations with La Salle.
“Usually yung practice namin sa DLSU, umaga naman. Kaya naman schedule dahil yung practice namin sa Gilas, gabi. So after practice ng DLSU, pumupunta na akong Meralco. Dun na ako nagpapahinga,” the 21-year-old point forward said.
“Mina-maximize ko lang yung time na pwede ako mag-ensayo. Grateful ako na kahit dalawa yung ensaya sa isang araw, nakakaya ko.”
Due to his commitment with Gilas, Quiambao will be absent while the Green Archers will be on an 11-day break from UAAP action.
With La Salle on a four-game losing streak, this international stint will allow him to clear his head somewhat from the difficulties of wearing the Green and White jersey.
He promises, though, to become a better player upon his return.
“Bigay ko lang yung best ko. Kung ano yung pinaka ma-maximize ko na experience sa Jordan atsaka sa Saudi, dadalhin ko after nun sa UAAP,” said Quiambao.
“Sad ako sa part na di ko sila makakasama ng 11 days pero grateful naman ako na makakasama ako sa Gilas. Makakalaro ako sa highest level of competition.”