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HomeBasketBallFIBAKevin Quiambao shines for Gilas in Fiba Asia Cup - Sports Interactive...

Kevin Quiambao shines for Gilas in Fiba Asia Cup – Sports Interactive Network Philippines

ONE of the youngest in the Gilas Pilipinas roster, Kevin Quiambao's play in the 2022 Fiba Asia Cup has proven that he can hang with the big boys.
Logging 20.1 minutes and averaging only 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds, the 6-foot-8 center emerged as the best playmaker for the Philippines with his 6.5 assists through two games – tied for best in the tournament so far.

In the Philippines' 101-59 rout of India on Friday, the 21-year-old Quiambao dished out nifty passes en route to a game-high nine assists to go with his six points and three rebounds in just 19 minutes of play.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes said the performance from Quiambao is by design as the rest of the team has benefitted from having a pass-first big down low.
“That’s really the strength of Kevin’s game and he has shown it since the first time he joined this team. He's just now being able to pick his spots because there were times we felt in the last game that the openings weren’t there and he was still trying to make it and force those passes,” he said.
“But it’s a luxury for us to have such a good passer for that position. It wasn’t anything consciously that we wanted him to do for this game, it’s just us allowing him to go and play to his strength.”

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    Even Thirdy Ravena is delighted to share the court with the incoming La Salle rookie, noting, “Definitely I love being with him on the court.”
    “It’s not everyday that you come across such and intelligent and aggressive passer in Kevin. Just being inside makes me focus more on getting to my spots because you know when the defense reacts to whatever offense does and he has the ball, he’ll most likely be able to spot that in an instant and just kick it and give you the assist,” he elaborated. “Distributing the ball from a big man’s position is a little bit rare in our game nowadays, so we're just very fortunate to have him.”
    Kevin QuiambaoKevin Quiambao is quietly delivering for Gilas Pilipinas.
    Reyes said that Quiambao has always been somewhat of an underrated prospect for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas even when he was still with NU-Nazareth School.
    “I know he’s a surprise to a lot, but Kevin Quiambao has always been under the radar of the Gilas coaching staff,” he said.
    “You have to remember that a lot of players from this team were identified as early as 2017. Remember when we came out with the 23-for-2023 list, Thirdy was there, Francis Lopez, Carl Tamayo, so it was just the matter of activating and calling on the guys who were available from that original list we had.”
    Quiambao wasn't among the bigs listed there, with only Tamayo, Kai Sotto, Isaac Go, Abu Tratter, AJ Edu, Kemark Carino, Will Gozum, and Troy Rike being shortlisted.
    Still, he was always someone who SBP coveted as a potential part of the future as evidenced by his past inclusions to the national youth team.
    “We’ve always wanted to get a chance to test Kevin,” Reyes admitted. “There were other guys who weren’t available like [Justine] Baltazar and fortunately, that gives an opportunity for Kevin.”

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