KIB Montalbo received an advice from starting point guard Thomas Torres about what his mindset should be for Season 77 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
And so far, it has been paying dividends for the La Salle sophomore from Bacolod.
Montalbo came through with his breakout game in his college career on Saturday by scoring a team-high 18 points in La Salle’s 67-48 win over Adamson.
The young point guard is now at the forefront of La Salle’s offense with Torres sidelined by an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out for at least a month.
But words of encouragement from no less that Torres himself have allowed him to play more relaxed this season.
“Just play the game I love,” said Montalbo, when asked about Torres' piece of advice. “No pressure. Kasi kung ma-pe-pressure ka, pine-pressure mo sarili mo.”
Coming out of Bacolod as a high school standout, Montalbo admitted pressure got the better of him during his rookie year when the Green Archers won the UAAP title.
“Kasi dati, parang feeling ko, pressure ako. Tinuruan ako ni Thomas na just play the game. Mag-flow lang ‘yung game mo para walang pressure,” said Montalbo.
Now Montalbo said he puts it upon himself to help the Archers especially with Torres expected to miss most of the elimination round.
“Kailangan ko talaga mag-step-up to help the team win,” he said.