Kib Montalbo grew up watching the Negros Slashers make Bacolod proud in the Metropolitan Basketball Association.
And so, the former De La Salle University team captain would have wanted to rep his hometown when he finally got to play professionally. "Dati kasi, nanonood ako ng Negros Slashers so I wanted to play for Bacolod talaga," he shared.
He then continued, "Pinapanood ko yung yaya ko, nagchi-cheer siya lagi dati para sa Negros. Dun ko nasimulang makita na yung mga taga-Bacolod talaga, grabe yung love for basketball."
Unfortunately, that wasn't meant to be - not now, at least - and Montalbo has been seeing action for Makati in the MPBL Lakan Cup.
Only, and if only, Bacolod was able to get a team together just a bit before the SuperCrunch had its contract ready, then the former would have had its 21-year-old pride playing for it. "Nung una kasi, wala pa silang team e. Sayang lang kasi ako, available nung una," he said.
He then continued, "Ganun talaga, professional na tayo so I love Makati, I love my teammates here."
That would have been a fitting homecoming for Montalbo who made a name for himself in St. John's Institute before shining bright for the Green Archers.
Instead, the defensive-minded guard would have to settle for a game in Bacolod where he won't be wearing the home colors. "Magho-home game kami, pupunta kami dun ng August! Kaso, Pampanga kalaban so at least, 'di naman ako ibu-boo," he said, with a laugh.
This, after Montalbo and Makati actually dealt a defeat to his hometown, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
While he didn't have the best of games and only had six points, an assist, a steal, and a rebound in 14 minutes of action, "The Man of Steal" was still part of a crew that had all the answers for Bacolod in an 84-74 decision. "Hyped ako nung una kaya nung first half, dalawang foul ako so nalabas ako agad. Gigil ako, super kasi siyempre, Bacolod yan," he said.
He then continued, "Pero ang sarap lang talaga nilang kalaban kasi Ilonggo lahat e."
And while he remains committed to the SuperCrunch and to his PBA dream, Montalbo said a door also remains open for him to rep his hometown. "I have a contract with Makati and I'm committed to my contract, pero yeah, why not," he answered when asked about a possible transfer to Bacolod.
He then continued, "Pero papa-draft muna ako sa PBA then we'll see what happens after."
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