By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Fresh from an impressive debut for the Gilas Pilipinas seniors’ national basketball team, big man Kevin Quiambao never lost a step and continued to dazzle in his first game as a De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archer.
The crafty Quiambao put up an all-around, near triple-double performance of 15 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists to propel the Green Archers to a 94-87 win over the Wangs-Letran Knights in the ongoing 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
From the get-go, Quiambao became the main orchestrator of the DLSU offense while buckling to work in the post against the physical big men of the Letran Knights.
Aside from Quiambao’s striking debut, the duo of Jan Macalalag and Penny Estacio also came to play and scored 18 and 14 points respectively.
Macalalag and Estacio provided the much-needed offensive spark for the Green Archers and kept them in the game every time Quimbao was pulled out for a substitution.
Letran attempted to turn the tides after managing to tie the score at 75-all with six minutes left in the final canto but DLSU’s timely three-point shooting left them in the dust that capped off a 17-6 offensive run.
From a 75-all score, the Green Archers ballooned their lead to 11 points, 92-81, courtesy of clutch baskets from veteran Joaqui Manuel.
Michael Phillips anchored the paint for the Green Archers and finished with another double-double outing of 13 points and 11 rebounds while also recording five huge steals.
Despite the loss, Letran saw some positives after getting a huge contribution from Paolo Javilionar who dropped 19 big points against the Green Archers.
Meanwhile, during the first game, the star-studded Marinerong Pilipino Skippers demolished the AMA Online squad, 87-49, led by the waxing hot Juan Gomez de Liaño.
The former Japan B. League Asian import played one of his best games of the tournament and scored 31 points on top of 16 rebounds and 5 assists.