KIB Montalbo politely declined questions when asked about the final play that eventually cost La Salle the game against rival Ateneo on Sunday to cap off the first round of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Usually the one making the big interceptions, the player known as the “Man of Steal” had an uncharacteristic turnover as Matt Nieto tipped the ball away from his inbound pass which resulted in a turnover.
That error was compounded with a foul a few seconds later, sending the third year Ateneo guard to the line.
As painful as that may be, the most important thing for the Bacolod native is how they’ll bounce back.
“We’re gonna bounce back. We felt that we could’ve won that game, we’ll bounce back,” Montalbo said.
It wasn’t a game to remember for Montalbo despite scoring the first basket of the night, a three pointer that quickly set the tone for what was gonna be one exciting game between the two rivals.
Montalbo struggled heavily, finishing with three points on 1-for-8 shooting to go with five turnovers in 27 minutes of action.
For him, their inability to stop Ateneo at the start of the game proved to be costly as Ateneo shot the lights out of the Mall of Asia Arena early.
“Probably lacking din in defense since pasok lahat ng three points nila in the first quarter, they made six,” he said.
“We were hyped up pero they just shot the lights out.”
That’s why he was delighted to find out that the Archers are going to be playing on the first gameday of the second round.
“Thank you Lord nga na Wednesday kaagad ang game at least di malala yung sakit,” he continued.
“Babawi talaga kami. We’ll get that victory,” he added.