Kevin Quiambao excited to play with Kiefer Ravena, Scottie Thompson at Gilas

La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao.Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines — Despite La Salle’s four-game skid in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, Kevin Quiambao is eager to learn more with Gilas Pilipinas in the fifth window of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.

The Green Archers rookie has mixed feelings about flying with the national team pool as he leaves his college squad after a 68-54 loss to Ateneo. But he seeks to use that international experience, facing Jordan on November 10 and Saudi Arabia on November 13, to end their woes when he comes back.

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“I will just give my best and maximize the experience in Jordan and Saudi. But I’m sad that I won’t be with (La Salle) during the 11-day break,” said Quiambao, who was limited to six points, eight rebounds, and three assists in a loss on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I’m grateful that the team will take me there, giving me a chance to play at the highest level of competition again,” he added.

The 6-foot-4 Quiambao had no problem juggling his practice with La Salle in the morning and training with Gilas at night.

“I maximized the time that I can train. Although I practice twice a day, I’m grateful for it,” he said. “I also want to get a 2-0 record as coach Chot (Reyes) has been telling us to use this as a learning experience. We will come there giving our very best, looking to win and sweep the window qualifier.”

The 21-year-old big man, who averaged 5.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in two games in the July window, is excited to play with Kiefer Ravena and PBA MVP Scottie Thompson, who have been guiding him in practice.