TALK about turning a negative into a positive.
On a year when he was forced to sit out an entire season due to an ACL injury, La Salle guard Kib Montalbo made the most of his time away from the court by making the dean's list for the first time in the first trimester of the academic year last December.
Montalbo, who is taking up business management at De La Salle, earned a 3.0 GPA in the first trimester of the academic year for his first entry into the list of the school's top academic performers.
It was actually a double celebration for the Montalbo family as Kib's sister Khryzia also made it to the list. To top it off, Montalbo has recovered from his injury and is getting ready to return to action for the Green Archers.
“Actually, nalaman na namin nung December pa pero ‘yung mga release ng certificates, ngayon lang,” Montalbo, a highly sought after guard from Bacolod coming out of high school, said in an interview with SPIN.ph.
The Archers guard bared he is not the only one who is doing well academically for the Green Archers, saying fellow point guard Thomas Torres, who's also Business Management major, missed the dean’s list by just 0.5 GPA.
Montalbo added that Josh Torralba, who recently announced he will no longer play for La Salle to finish his studies in the United States, was also a regular dean’s lister.
The La Salle point guard shared he is making an effort to do well in his studies to help retain his scholarship - and elibility - as a varsity basketball player.
“Siyempre, as a student-athlete, we need to study. If we don’t study, we can’t play,” said Montalbo.
And in true point guard fashion, Montalbo isn’t grabbing all the credit.
“Actually, may tumutulong din sa amin like our student managers. They help us in academics if we have things to study, they help us. Nag-gogroup study kami. But at the end of the day, it’s more on us pa rin,” said the 19-year-old.
Montalbo said it is always a challenge to split time between his academic and athletic duties, more so since the Green Archers hold practices for three hours early in the morning.
“The challenge is going to class kasi we’re tired especially na morning practice kami. We wake up around 4:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. and we have to go to class,” said Montalbo, who's obviously handled the student-athlete balancing act quite well.
On the court, Montalbo is also making great strides as the torn ACL in his right knee he suffered last summer is already healed. So far, Montalbo is still working on strengthening his legs but has rejoined practices since January, and looks forward to playing for the Green Archers again in the coming Filoil preseason tournament.
“I’m still working on my legs but I’m back to playing. We are going to play sa Filoil next month so I’ll be there,” said Montalbo.
The La Salle court general will return to the court with a new coach following the hiring of Aldin Ayo, who is instilling a new system at the Green Archers camp after taking over from Juno Sauler.
Montalbo said everything is humming for the Green Archers.
“We are a growing team. We are becoming better each and everyday. The system is new. Siyempre, bagong coach so new system. Pero everyday, we are fitting in to the system. We are aiming for the championship especially that Thomas and Jeron (Teng) are graduating,” said Montalbo.