By Adrian Stewart Co
Apart from winning his first-ever Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) championship with the TNT Tropang Giga, Kib Montalbo has one more thing to celebrate.
The 6-foot Montalbo has recently received his diploma with the De La Salle University (DLSU), while the Bacolod City-native guard has graduated with a degree in Business Management.
“It was a double gift,” Kib’s father Roger Montalbo said. “I am happy that he won his first PBA championship with the TNT kasi last year they fell short but I am much happier that he finished his degree.”
“I told him before that what I want from him is a college diploma because that is his personal trophy,” he added. “Even nung nasa TNT na siya, he continues to attend online classes sa DLSU.”
Montalbo was a former standout of St. John’s Institute in Bacolod City under then head coach Dexter Dy. He was then recruited by several Manila-based schools but chose to join DLSU Green Archers.
At the Green Archers, Montalbo was a two-time UAAP champion under coaches Juno Sauler and Aldin Ayo. He went on to play in the PBA D-League with AMA Titans and Marinerong Pilipino.
Montalbo also had a stint with Makati Super Crunch in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League before being selected in the first round of the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft by the Tropang Giga.
After a silent rookie season with the TNT, the Bacolodnon guard became a valuable piece of Tropang Giga’s rotation under returning head coach Vincent “Chot” Reyes in the just-concluded 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
Montalbo averaged 6.4 points in a conference highlighted by a career-best 22-point effort against NorthPort Batang Pier last September 15. He also served as Reyes’ main defender on the top backcourt offensive option of the opponent.
“I’m so proud of what he has achieved. He worked his way into the rotation of coach Chot. I told him before that the minutes have to be earned and it will not be given to him,” Roger said./ASC, WDJ