KIB Montalbo is in high spirits even despite a loss in his first game with Marinerong Pilipino.
Picked up by the Skippers from the free agent pool after being let go of AMA Online Education, Montalbo was glad to quickly find a new home and continue his PBA D-League stint.
"I'm happy with the team. I just practiced twice pa lang and I'm adjusting, but I'm happy with my new team," he said.
Montalbo didn't get enough chances to make his mark with the Titans, netting only 5.0 points, 2.67 assists, 1.67 rebounds and 1.0 steal in three games.
But he believes he fits better with the Skippers as he teams up with Green Archer Santi Santillan and ex-UAAP rival Anton Asistio of Ateneo.
"Most of them are familiar faces. Nakakalaban ko naman talaga sila and it feels like home," he remarked.
"Coach Yong (Garcia) preaches defense so first practice ko pa lang, sabi niya sa akin kinuha niya ako because of my defense. I was really happy at na-motivate ako doon. That's why I'll really work hard."
Montalbo, however, clarified that he has no axe to grind with AMA as he shared parting ways with the team amicably.
"Things didn't go our way," he said. "A few bumps here and there, and eventually, they released me. I'm just glad na kinuha ako ng Marinero."
It was a tough start, however, for Montalbo with Marinerong Pilipino as they fell to Wangs Basketball, 88-78, on Thursday.
Montalbo only had two points and three assists in 16 minutes of play, but made sure to make his presence felt on defense with four rebounds and two blocks.
"Off-night kami eh. We couldn't make shots," he rued as the Skippers only shot 30 percent from the field.
He is confident he will do better next time, with the Skippers not seeing action until March 25 against The Masterpiece Clothing-Trinity University of Asia.
"I still have two weeks to work on it. Araw-araw lang na practice to familiarize myself with the guys and hopefully, we'll have our chemistry going in the next games. We'll get there," he said.