Close this search box.

Kevin Quiambao clarifies NBA and UAE naturalization offers

by Bryan Gadingan

KEVIN QUIAMBAO, who just won a silver medal with Strong Group Athletics in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championships, has returned to the Philippines and was spotted enjoying a PBA game.

The 6-foot-6 UAAP Season 86 MVP played a key role in the Frank Lao-owned team’s amazing run to the Finals, averaging 18 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in SGA’s seven victories in Dubai.

Photo Courtesy: Strong Group Athletics | Facebook

Despite going scoreless in the championship game and falling short of winning the gold, Quiambao expressed gratitude for the full experience, and he even received an All-Tournament Team award to finish off his run.

“Super saya,” stated the DLSU Green Archers player, who attended Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Semifinals between Magnolia Chicken Timplados and Phoenix Super LPG on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

”Nakuha ko yung breakout games ko nung elimination round, but sobrang sad dahil ‘di namin nakuha yung championship and ‘di man lang ako naka puntos nung Finals.”

”Sobrang laking tulong, laking boost sa career ko dahil hinayaan nila maglaro ang isang KQ na maging wing. Kung ano yung gusto kong gawin sa court, nagawa ko,” he explained.

Following his outstanding performance with the Philippine club team, Quiambao reportedly received an offer to become a naturalized import for the UAE National Team, as well as an invitation to try out for the New York Knicks’ Summer League squad.

When questioned if the reports about him maybe seeing action in the NBA were real, Quiambao responded in an ambiguous tone: ”For now, sabihin nating wala. Wala, wala.”

“Focus lang muna ako sa pagpapahinga ko ngayon, and I can’t wait na makabalik sa La Salle next week. Focus muna sa La Salle, then kung ano mang dumating na blessing siguro, sa time na yon, dun lang malalaman,” Quiambao said.

Photo Courtesy: Strong Group Athletics | Facebook

Furthermore, Taft-based star insisted on focusing on the forthcoming window for the Gilas Pilipinas before seeing what the UAE National Team has in store for him.

”About sa UAE, ‘di ko lang sure pero willing to wait sila sa’kin. For now, focus muna ako sa Gilas,” said Quiambao, who was named to Gilas Pilipinas’ 12-man roster.

“Ito yung nasa harap natin, then malapit na yung window. Siguro paghahandaan ko muna yung window. Siguro, oras lang talaga yung makakapag sabi ng lahat.”

Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone believes that adding youth to their present lineup will provide a significant boost in the forthcoming timeframe.

“I’m a big believer that you don’t get better unless you have younger players who could grow and get better as a team. However, if you want to win now, if you want to win right away, you need veterans, so that’s kind of the combination that we’ve tried to put together,” he emphasized.

“I was telling Kevin, you’re the young guy right now, but in four years, you aren’t gonna be the young guy anymore, so he’s gonna be four years older, four years smarter,” said Cone.

“This kid is versatile. He asked me on the phone, am I gonna play three or four, coach? I said, ‘Kevin, you’re gonna play one, two, three, or four, wherever we need you because you have that versatility in your game and we can use you wherever we need you to be,” Cone explained.

Quiambao will begin practicing with Gilas on February 15, as they prepare for the first window of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.



We have the stories you’ll want to read.

RepublicAsia Newsletter