One more year with La Salle? Kevin Quiambao says he will rest first

Kevin Quiambao cuts the net after leading La Salle to the UAAP championship in men's basketball.

Kevin Quiambao cuts the net after leading La Salle to the UAAP championship in men’s basketball. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Shortly after leading La Salle to its first UAAP men’s basketball title since 2016, Kevin Quiambao loudly set expectations about returning for another run with the newly crowned champions.

“Asahan niyo po…one more year? Yeah!” Quiambao, the Season 86 and Finals Most Valuable Player, said in a TV interview while holding his golden hardware.

But apparently, nothing’s been set in stone until Quiambao gets to spend time with his family first after a grueling season in a popular destination for Filipino tourists and players alike: Japan.

“I think for now I will focus on what’s in front of me. I have to make time for my family, especially since my mom who got home from Japan because during the whole season, I was at the gym and played basketball,” said Quiambao in Filipino.

“I’m going to Japan on December 15 for vacation,” he added.

Quiambao said he will decide in the coming weeks about his next step, but ne didn’t confirm nor deny if he has offers to turn pro.

“I think bawal muna sabihin,” he said.

The point forward has three playing years remaining after ending La Salle’s seven-year title drought with its 10th overall championship.

Quiambao anchored La Salle’s come-from-behind 73-69 win over University of the Philippines on Wednesday in front of a record 25,192 crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

He had a stellar sophomore year being the runaway Season MVP — the first local to win the award since Kiefer Ravena in 2015 — and a Mythical 5 member.

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Quiambao averaged 14.7 points, 9.3 rebounds 2.7 assists, and 1.7 blocks in three games in the Finals.

La Salle has four graduating players Evan Nelle, Mark Nonoy, Ben Phillips, and Joaqui Manuel.