KIB Montalbo admitted he was torn between choosing Ateneo or La Salle when he was about to enter college and play in the UAAP.
That changed when La Salle patron Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco Jr. personally went to Bacolod to recruit one of the city’s high school standout.
Montalbo bared that Cojuangco flew in to his hometown to see him practice, a move which made him decide to play for the Green Archers.
“To be honest, I didn’t know Boss Danding when he recruited me in high school,” Montalbo told 2OT. “Who is Boss Danding? My dad then said, siyempre Boss Danding, big thing ‘yan. Para sa akin, who is Boss Danding.”
“What happened was he went to Bacolod to watch me in practice. At that time, I was being recruited by Ateneo. That time, parang hindi ako sure sa desisyon ko kung saan ako pupunta. I think when he went to Bacolod, ‘yun ang naging game-clincher na si Boss Danding na pumunta sa school and watched my practice at ininvite ako sa house niya to talk. ’Yun ‘yung game-clincher na I decided na mag-La Salle ako. Si Boss Danding na ‘yun eh,” said Montalbo.
In his decision, Montalbo flourished with La Salle and became known as a fierce defender before moving to the MPBL and being drafted by TNT in last year’s draft.
Montalbo said Cojuangco didn’t only show up in recruiting trips but also in games and practices any way he can even, until health issues began to show.
“’Yung support niya sa basketball when it comes to La Salle, ibang klase. He always watches the game. Nung time namin ‘yun, nagpupunta pa siya sa practice. But then, as years passed by, hindi na ata siya puwedeng manood ng practice. Pero ‘yung support niya nandoon pa rin. He goes to the locker room before the game, and after the game, he talks to us,” said Montalbo.
“That’s Boss Danding for me. A very supportive person when it comes to basketball,” he said.
Montalbo also said Cojuangco isn’t an ordinary team patron as he definitely knows his basketball and the players in his team.
“I love pressure so I take it as a challenge whenever magsasabi siya na he really wants to win. ‘Yung difference ni Boss Danding, he really knows his basketball. I’m not really an offensive player. I’m a defensive player. He knows my strength sa team kasi he really knows basketball.
“Other bosses may not really notice that. Pero he is really into basketball. Hindi lang siya nagsusupport. He really knows the game itself. I think that’s a big difference kay Boss Danding,” he said.