MANILA, Philippines – La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao enjoyed his match against Adamson’s OJ Ojarikre in their first round match of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
Quiambao and the Green Archers came away with the 71-58 victory against the Soaring Falcons, but the sophomore made sure to acknowledge his heated battle with fellow big man Ojarikre.
“It’s fun to compete when it’s at the highest level, you can really tell he wants to win. Our match was fun, but I’m focusing on what we have as a team,” Quiambao said in Filipino.
“Whatever they have, it’s out of control, so I just controlled what I could and it’s a good thing that we got the win, but based on my field goal percentage, it’s really bad.”
The league’s reigning Rookie of the Year had a double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
However, Quiambao shot poorly with a field goal percentage of 27.8 percent, sinking only five of his eighteen attempts.
Ojarikre, meanwhile, scored five while grabbing 12 boards. The foreign student-athlete also recorded four blocks, two of which came at the expense of Quiambao in the fourth quarter alone.
According to Quiambao, the reason why he outscored Ojarikre was coach Topex Robinson’s memory of the team at halftime.
The big man said he and the entire team loosened up a bit in the second part of the game, which gave them an edge over Ojarikre and the Soaring Falcons.
“We lost our system a little bit in the first half, so when we stuck with it, it came naturally (performance). Fortunately, we enjoyed it and appreciated every asset.”
Quiambao’s great mettle will be tested again when they face National University and Omar John at the same venue on Sunday.