UAAP: Captain Kib's dream was simple – to hear drums while playing

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 22, 2018 06:53 PM
Captain Kib's dream was simple – to hear drums while playing
Kib Montalbo wanted one thing and one thing only when he was still in Bacolod - to hear bass and snare drums intensify the crowd's cheers

Kib Montalbo was “The Man of Steal” in his third year for De La Salle University.

Back in 2016, he posted per game counts of 6.9 points, 3.0 assists, 3.0 steals, and 2.6 rebounds all while spearheading the “Mayhem” defense that scored for the Green Archers a dominant championship.

Since then, however, Montalbo has only averaged 5.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.4 steals all while dealing with various injuries.

With that, it looked like “The Man of Steal” had been brought down by his kryptonite.

In the face of all his struggles in the last two years, though, the now 23-year-old always chose to remain upbeat. “I come to practice always striving to be a better player. Each and every day, I work my ass off,” he said.

He then continued, “But if basketball is not for me, I just gotta trust God. There’s no better way to put it than that.”

And so, even though the same sort of numbers weren’t there, Montalbo still played each and every game as if it were his last.

And last Wednesday, it was indeed his last – in green and white, at least – as La Salle fell to Far Eastern University and fell out of the playoff picture in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Still, the 5-foot-10 guard put himself all over the floor all game long – so much so that he sustained a small cut under his nose after an inadvertent collision with a Tamaraw.

Blood trickled down from that small cut up until he was singing his alma mater song for the last time in uniform and up until he was being interviewed post-game.

And without tissues to use, Montalbo was forced to wipe off the blood with his white jersey.

For him, though, that was nothing but a badge of honor. “Symbol ‘to na I gave my all. It’s my last game and I gave it all. Walang natira sa akin,” he said.

He then continued, “Pagod na pagod ako e. Natapilok, nag-cramps, lahat, but I gave it all for La Salle.”

Indeed, after six years in Taft Avene and five seasons reppin’ the school there, the Bacolod native had no regrets leaving his hometown. As he put it, “I was just a boy who dreamed of playing with drums. Yun lang.”

He then continued, “Back in Bacolod, sabi ko, gusto ko lang pumunta ng Maynila para maglaro kasi may drums dito. I didn’t expect that I’ll be captain of La Salle, to lead the team. It was the wildest dream, but I’m here and I’m just grateful and blessed.”

Whether or not he’s still “The Man of Steal” remains to be seen.

What matters is that Montalbo is at peace with whatever has happened, has been happening, and has yet to happen. “May trabaho pa rin naman ako kahit anong mangyari,” he said, sharing that he is around 40 units away from a degree in Business Management.

He then continued, “Pero player muna. Gusto ko mag-PBA kasi siyempre, lahat naman, that’s the ultimate dream.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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