UAAP: Quiambao shakes off jitters, stars in La Salle's big win over UP

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2022 02:29 PM

La Salle's Kevin Quiambao (17) in action against UP during the second round of the UAAP season 85 men's basketball in Pasay City on November 20, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
La Salle's Kevin Quiambao (17) in action against UP during the second round of the UAAP season 85 men's basketball in Pasay City on November 20, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- A determined Kevin Quiambao shook off a slow start and took over in the end game to power De La Salle University to a much-needed victory over the University of the Philippines (UP) on Sunday night.

The rookie forward was at his best in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points to lead the way in the Green Archers' 82-80 win over the defending champions. The result snapped UP's seven-game winning streak, and fanned La Salle's hopes of making the Final 4 in UAAP Season 85.

After the game, Quiambao admitted that he was plagued by memories of their first-round loss to the Fighting Maroons, where he managed only five points on 2-of-13 shooting in a poor start to his seniors career.

"'Yung first half ko, ayun nga, two points lang ako ng first half. Kumbaga, bumalik 'yung memory ng first game na parang rookie jitters nga," said Quiambao. "Sabi ko sa sarili ko, hindi pwedeng mangyari uli 'yun."

"So, ayun nga, nag-step up lang kami kahit lamang 'yung kalaban noong third quarter," he added.

Quiambao starred in the run that put La Salle ahead for good, and then drilled two clutch free throws in the final 11 seconds to secure the victory. The rookie finished with a game-high 18 points along with nine rebounds, a steal and a block in 26 minutes of action.

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"For me, sobrang saya na natalo namin ang defending champion," said Quiambao, who earned praise from La Salle head coach Derick Pumaren for his performance. 

The veteran mentor hailed Quiambao's resilience after a tough start, and pointed out that their rookie also took charge on the defensive end by locking down UP star Carl Tamayo in the end game.

"In the fourth quarter, he just took over the ball game. That gave us that momentum shift, noong nag-dominate na si Kevin. Not just offensively, but also defensively," said Pumaren.

"He took the challenge, he knows that Tamayo's gonna take control of the ball game, and he himself said that 'I'm gonna take care of him this fourth quarter'," he added.

As pleased as he is with the win, Quiambao sai the Green Archers must now move on to their next assignment -- a date with National University (NU) on Wednesday. The win over UP had improved La Salle's record to 5-6, but as it stands they are still just tied with Adamson University for fourth place. 

"Hindi kami pwedeng mag-overconfident," said Quiambao. "Move on na kami and huwag sobrang kampante dito sa panalo na 'to. Happy kami pero ayun nga, job's not finished so move on kami for the next game against NU."

UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.

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