UAAP: La Salle's Quimbao vows comeback after struggling in debut

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2022 10:15 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2022 11:16 PM

Kevin Quiambao (17) of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers during their match against the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons for the opening games of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, October 1, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle rookie Kevin Quiambao was unhappy with his performance after struggling in the Green Archers' 72-69 loss to defending champion University of the Philippines (UP) on Saturday night.

Much was expected of Quiambao after an impressive preseason that included stints with the Philippine men's national basketball team. However, he labored in a five-point outing against the Fighting Maroons, making just two of his 13 field goals.

"'Yung start ng season ko, ang sama," said Quiambao after their defeat, wherein they squandered a 10-point advantage. 

It was a frustrating night for the big man, who missed his first 10 shots of the game. His first conversion came with three minutes to go, when he scored off a put-back to trim UP's lead to three points, 64-61.

His second and last field goal was a big one: Quiambao nailed a three-pointer with 1:36 to go to make it a two-point game, 66-64. Unfortunately for La Salle, they had no answer for Carl Tamayo, who nailed a crucial jumper on the other end to keep UP in control.

"Noong una, noong hindi pumapasok ang mga baskets ko, sobrang frustrating talaga," admitted Quiambao. "Noong binitaw ko 'yung bola, feeling ko shu-shoot na, kasi good line 'yung mga tira ko."

"Noong nakuha ko 'yung first basket ko noong first quarter, sobrang na-hype up ako. Akala ko magtutuloy-tuloy na," he added.

Quiambao's flurry came too little, too late, however. He misfired on a three-pointer with under 30 seconds to go that could have made it a one-point game once more, leading to a James Spencer layup on the other end. 

The rookie won't deny that he endured some nerves in what was his collegiate debut.

"For me, noong warm-up pa lang, sobrang excited kasi talaga akong maglaro. And 'yung feeling na makabalik ulit, so parang sa eroplano ba, may jet lag pa sa high school season namin," said Quiambao. 

"Sa sobrang excited ko, talagang hindi ko nagawa 'yung system na pinapalaro ni coach," he added. "Nagkaroon ako ng mga mental lapses noong game."

Quiambao vowed to learn from the experience, pointing out that there are plenty of games left in the season for him to gain his rhythm.

"Take ko lang 'to as a lesson, and good thing naman na first game pa lang 'to ng season, and mahaba pa 'yung season," he added. "'Yung mga mistake namin kanina, kailangan namin i-learn 'yun for the game. Nakuha nila 'yung panalo so good thing makakabawi kami sa second round, may chance kami." 

Catch replays of UAAP Season 84 games via the UAAP Varsity channel on iWantTFC, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.