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    Montalbo proves deserving of starting gig with solid two-way play

    Sep 10, 2021
    Kib Montalbo TNT vs NLEX
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    KIB Montalbo earned the starting job on Friday, and he made the most out of the opportunity once again for TNT.

    Montalbo scored 13 points, two rebounds, and three steals in emerging as one of the key players in TNT’s 100-85 victory over NLEX.

    The performance was a follow-up to Montalbo’s play last Wednesday against San Miguel where he also had 13 points while adding three rebounds, four assists, and two steals but in a losing effort.

    TNT coach Chot Reyes lauded the play of Montalbo in the SMB game that deserved a spot in the starting roster against NLEX.

    “The reason I started Kib was because of his game the last time out. He played an excellent ballgame and I felt that he deserved to start,” said Reyes.

    Kib Montalbo TNT vs SMB

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    “The more important thing was we felt he was a good match-up for Kevin Alas. We knew a big part of the offense of NLEX is Kevin Alas. We thought Kib had the speed and the defensive prowess to at least give Kevin some problems,” he added.

    Kib Montalbo as TNT stopper

    It was the second time Montalbo defended the top player on the other side with the TNT guard also assigned to defend San Miguel’s Terrence Romeo when the Tropang GIGA clashed with the Beermen.

    Montalbo’s foul woes didn’t prevent the former La Salle standout from continuing to put in the effort and energy all-game long.

    “I know he picked up two quick fouls early. But I thought he played an excellent ballgame,” said Reyes.

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      Reyes said Montalbo is definitely a fit for TNT which put an effort to improve on the defensive end with key acquisitions during the offseason.

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      “If you noticed with our picks, we put premium on defense like Brian Heruela, Ping Exciminiano, Glenn Khobuntin. They are really defenders because that is what we lack in this team,” said Reyes.

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