UAAP: Captain Kib's legacy in La Salle? Leadership

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 04, 2019 03:44 PM
UAAP: Captain Kib's legacy in La Salle? Leadership
More than being the "Man of Steal," replacing Kib Montalbo as a leader will be a tall task for La Salle

Three years ago, Kib Montalbo was the “Man of Steal.”

Averaging three steals all while acting as the spearhead of the “Mayhem” De La Salle University rode all the way to a dominant championship, he showed just what kind of player he can blossom to be – a lockdown defender in the mold of Ping Exciminiano, or even Chris Ross.

However, the next two years didn’t come up roses for him as he had to battle through various injuries and only posted per game counts of 5.5 points, 3.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.4 steals.

As it turns out, however, through all of that, he was, in fact, leaving his biggest imprint on one of the Philippines’ most storied programs.

“Si Kib, talagang yung leadership niya, nag-shine na. I’m gonna give it to him, whatever yung narating namin, malaki yung naging part ni Kib,” last season’s head coach Louie Gonzalez shared. “Kung paano niya ginawa yung to put everybody on the same page, yun ang pinakamahalagang impact niya.”

Yes, on and off the court, it was the 5-foot-10 guard who kept all of the Green Archers, who never seem to run out of high-profile prospects, in line.

Indeed, apparently, that was his exact focus in his last two years in green and white. “As a leader, I learned to understand everyone. May kanya-kanyang pinagdadaanan yung mga tao e so you have to understand that before you approach them,” he said.

He then continued, “All of that made me a better person, a mature person. Ang bata ko dati e, but now, I learned to appreciate things.”

Of course, that wisdom comes from the journey Montalbo himself took – from a recruit out of Bacolod to a reserve rookie in La Salle, from suffering an ACL injury to coming back as the “Man of Steal,” and from a team player to a team captain.

“Example, we have rookies na ‘di masyadong nagagamit, pero I always tell them sa sa lahat ng trabaho, may frustrations. Kahit ako na captain, gamit na ako, may frustrations pa rin,” he shared. “Frustrations will always be there and you just have to deal with them. Overcome it lang by being strong.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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