Top Most Valuable Player candidate Kevin Quiambao vowed to be better in Game 2 of the 86th University Athletic Association of the Philippines Men’s Basketball Tournament Finals.
The 22-year-old Quiambao promised this after the La Salle Green Archers fell to their worst setback, a 67-97 loss to the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, who moved a win away from claiming the crown after Game 1 on Wednesday in front of 17,129 fans inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Medyo na-disappoint talaga ako sa ipinakita ko, pero this coming Game 2, expect niyo na ibang Kevin Quiambao ang makikita niyo. (I was disappointed with my showing, but in Game 2, expect a different Kevin Quiambao),” said Quiambao.
The top Archer leads the overall statistical race with 97 points, ahead of second placer, Rey Remogat of the University of the East (85.929 points), with Quiambao’s teammate Evan Nelle in third and Season 85 MVP and UP’s top bet Malick Diouf in fourth.
The 6’6” Quiambao was limited to just 11 points on his 4-of-10 shooting from the field, with UP guard Reyland Torres sent to stop him.
“Good thing naman series itong Finals na ito so may Game 2 pa. For us, ‘yung mindset namin kailangan namin ibahin, ‘yung approach namin sa game,” said Quiambao.
The Green Archers will try to get over their 30-point loss to UP, considered as the largest margin of victory in a finals game since 1998 when La Salle got past Far Eastern University by 25, 72-47, in Season 61.
“We got reminded that this game is going to be physical. As much as we want to complain about some things, we really want to just focus on ourselves. There’s no crying over spilled milk, and that is one of the worst losses in a finals series,” said Green Archers coach Topex Robinson.
UP held La Salle to 18 turnovers, scoring 24 easy points along the way, and to a woeful 8.7 percent from the three-point area, making just two of their 23 attempts.
The Fighting Maroons will seek their third title on Sunday 4 p.m. when Game 2 starts at 4 p.m., while La Salle will try to stretch the series into a winner-take-all affair.