KIB MONTALBO didn’t play much for De La Salle in his Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup debut as the Bacolod high school star’s main task is to get familiar first with the system of coach Gee Abanilla.
Montalbo said he joined the team just a week ago and the coaching staff has so far been patient with him in learning the system.
“Ang purpose ni coach, mabigyan ako ng quality minutes for me to improve,” said Montalbo following the Green Archers’ 73-67 win over University of Santo Tomas in the opener.
“Focus lang ako kasi everyday process naman ito dahil one week pa lang ako dito,” the Bacolod sensation added.
In his first game with the Green Archers, Montalbo only played six minutes but scored on a three-pointer.
Jason Perkins, who’s seeing action in his first Filoil Flying V Premier Cup like Montalbo, came through in the Archers’ game against the Tigers by scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Abanilla said the team is taking time in giving Montalbo heavy minutes.
“Hindi muna namin bibiglain, ayaw namin na mapaso ‘yung bata,” said Abanilla. “Baka kasi mawalan ng kumpiyansa ‘yung bata.
“But I think they are going to fit well with the team. We are breaking them gently.”
Despite the limited minutes, Abanilla already gave the Bacolod high school star a heap of praise.
“Unfortunately, kararating lang nung bata eh. A few days lang, wala pang one week sa amin. I’m really surprised with the way he adjusted. Wala pang one week pero alam na niya ‘yung ginagawa ng team,” Abanilla said of the lanky Montalbo.
“Frame ang concern namin especially against teams like UST na malaki at medyo pisikal,” said Abanilla.
Montalbo is also satisfied with the way he played in his first game. His goal is to be able to help the team as soon as possible.
“Para sa akin okay talaga ang game ko. Next time babawi ako talaga. Improve ko pa ‘yung confidence ko para maging threat ako. Ang goal ko is makatulong sa team,” said the St. John Institute recruit. With reports from Mei-Lin Lozada