For the last five games, Kib Montalbo has been soldiering on for the De La Salle University Green Archers. Still nursing an injured left thumb, the Green Archers’ skipper did not want to miss any more moments with his team.
However, even he would admit that he has not lived up to expectations.
“This week lang, tinignan ko yung stats ko, sabi ko one-of-seventeen shooting,” he disclosed about his three-point shooting. “‘Di talaga ako maka-shoot, kasi tumatama siya [sa thumb] eh, may something ako rito so, it’s hard.
“Para akong grade one ulit, good thing rhythm lang.”
Wanting to prove that he could lead a team in his final year, Montalbo – who was averaging just 4.3 points on 26.9 percent field goal shooting – asked Green Archers assistant coach Siot Tanquingcen to help him adjust his form.
Moreover, with the Green Archers down 5-4 slate entering their game against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, the 21-year-old gathered his troops.
“As a senior, alam niya napaka-importante ng laro na ito for the team and for him. A win tonight will be a big help to our campaign in making the Final Four,” disclosed first-year Green Archers head coach Louie Gonzalez.
And Montalbo led by example as well.
During the first frame of their tilt against the Tamaraws, Montalbo knocked down his second triple of the season. Besides this, the 5-foot-10 combo guard anchored La Salle’s defense late to give his team a 65-57 win.
Montalbo ended the night with seven points, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals, while netting a team-high plus-14 rating.
Even if he has been averaging low numbers this season, the graduating Green Archer still wants to make a mark on the game. And it’s through leadership.
“Siguro I just answered the call of this team. This team needs a leader. My mindset was, pagligo ko kanina, sabi ko, ‘We can do this!’ It’s a big game eh. I know what’s at stake here, and yun ang kailangan ni coach, he needs a leader inside the court,” the native of Bacolod said.
“I answered his call, grace of God lang nakalaro ako because I’ve been playing like tae. For this season, may nag-interview sa akin na numbers are down, sabi ko, ‘Yeah numbers are down’,” he added.
“I said na well, kahit my numbers are down I should make sure that the leadership is still there, contribute things that aren’t in the statsheet.”
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