Kevin Quiambao’s much-ballyhooed UAAP collegiate debut was not living up to the hype.
That was, until the last three minutes.
After shining bright with Gilas Pilipinas and standing out in De La Salle University’s preseason, the 6-foot-7 modern big was held scoreless for three and a half quarters after missing his first 10 shots in the collegiate level.
“Nung una, nung hindi pumapasok ang mga baskets ko, sobrang frustrating talaga. Pag binibitawan ko yung bola, feeling ko su-shoot na. Good line na, pero wala pa rin,” he shared.
“Kaya nung nakuha ko na yung first basket ko, sobrang na-hype up ako. Akala ko magtutuloy-tuloy na.”
Quiambao hit his first basket with under four minutes to go in their close contest against the University of the Philippines on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. Not long after, he drilled a triple to keep the Green Archers alive and kicking.
Ultimately, though, he and the green and white let another one slip opposite the Fighting Maroons. And ultimately, his La Salle debut and UAAP Seniors debut had him with five points in 2-of-13 shooting, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and three turnovers.
“Yung start ng season ko, ang sama. Nung warm-ups pa lang, sobrang excited ko talaga maglaro,” he shared. “Ayun nga, sa sobrang excited ko, talagang hindi ko nagawa yung system na pinapalaro ni coach.”
While his debut was, put simply, disappointing, the good news for the Green Archers is that Quiambao is determined to be better. As he should.
“Take ko lang ‘to as a lesson. Ang good thing naman naman is first game pa lang ‘to and mahaba pa yung season. So yung mga mistake namin kanina, kailangan namin i-learn,” he detailed. “Para sa akin, kailangan kong maging kalmado in-game. Kasi tuwing nakukuha ko yung bola kanina, na-eexcite talaga ako.
“Kaya yung lapses na yun, kailangan kong bawiin next game.”
“Nakita naman natin sa end of the game, two big shots yun. Ba-bounce back yun definitely. He’d really think about ano yung mga lapses na nangyari,” State U shot-caller Goldwin Monteverde explained.
“Yun yung pagkakakilala ko sa kanya. I’m sure mag-iimprove pa siya.”
Monteverde had coached Quiambao for three years when the two were together in dynastic Nazareth School of National University, so he knows what he’s saying. Taft Avenue better believe that, too.