Lost in the sea before, Kevin Quiambao has found his home in National U

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 20, 2020 02:20 PM
Lost in the sea before, Quiambao has found his home in NU
(Photo courtesy of UAAP)

Kevin Quiambao has stepped out of the shadows of his twin tower in Nazareth School of National University.

Once playing catch up to the strong start by Carl Tamayo, Quiambao now stands on level ground with his fellow force on offense and defense.

In fact, the 6-foot-8 big man was the lone Bullpup in the UAAP 82 Mythical Team and was ultimately recognized as the no. 1 player in the league's final NBTC 24.

Throughout the tournament, though, Quiambao made it clear that individual glory was far from his mind. "Hindi ko po talaga naisip lahat nang yan. Yung mga stats ko, dumating na lang talaga kasi tiyinaga ko lang talaga," he said.

Of course, patience and perseverance have long been virtues that have been instilled in the 19-year-old - even before his strong stint in National U.

Five years ago, Quiambao hoped to showcase his skills in Lyceum of the Philippines University, but didn't make the cut for the Jr. Pirates NCAA roster for two straight seasons. "'Di ako nakapaglaro nun. Reserve lang ako," he recalled.

As it turns out, that was actually a blessing in disguise as that only fueled his already burning fire and ultimately led him to Sampaloc.

Given a golden opportunity to try out with the UAAP dynasty back in 2016, he did nothing but take full advantage. As he put it, "Nag-practice ako sa NU, ayun, nagustuhan ko naman kasi si Coach Gold, siya yung best coach ever."

Indeed, under Monteverde's tutelage, the raw project became an imposing presence in his first year in blue and gold and then blossomed into a shining star in his second season there.

Once he finally got his break, Quiambao was not letting it go. "Kung 'di ako nakalaro nun, kumbaga, rito ko na lang ipapakita yung laro ko," he said.

And in the end of his high school career, he is a member of the Mythical Team and the top player in the UAAP NBTC 24. "May standard and expectations ako sa sarili ko at lagi ko lang tinatrabaho ang mga yun. Pag na-meet ko na, saka ko rin laging tataasan yung expectations at standard ko," he said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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