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UAAP: Kevin Quiambao has high respect for big man rival Mason Amos

Rising UAAP bigmen Mason Amos of Ateneo and Kevin Quiambao of La Salle

Rising UAAP bigmen Mason Amos of Ateneo and Kevin Quiambao of La Salle. –MARLO CUETO/INQURIER.net

MANILA, Philippines—The Ateneo and La Salle rivalry has two new star casts in the form of Mason Amos and Kevin Quiambao.

So when the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers faced off in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament, all eyes were on both big men.

Quiambao and the Green Archers prevailed over Amos and the Blue Eagles, 72-69, at Araneta Coliseum on Saturday and the former had nothing but praises for his Loyola Heights counterpart.

“Mason is special and his talent is high. I respect him because he competes at the highest level,” said the MVP frontrunner in Filipino.

“Like coach always says, we focus on ourselves and both our physical players earlier was just us showing our friendship. Knowing Amos as well, I have an advantage because I know his pros and cons.”

Quiambao turned in another stellar outing on all ends of the floor with 14 points, nine rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block in the victory that put La Salle to an 11-3 record.

Ateneo Blue Eagles' Mason Amos.

Ateneo Blue Eagles’ Mason Amos. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Amos, though, held his own with 10 points built on three buckets from beyond the arc with three rebounds to match.

Coach Tab Baldwin, however, rued Amos’ outing against Quiambao and said there’s a lot to work on when it comes to his defensive impact.

“Mason’s got to improve defensively and that’s just a fact but when he puts his mind into it and plays intelligently, he can compensate for some areas where he isn’t athletically up to the standard,” said the coach after the Blue Eagles finished elimination with a 7-7 record.

“But Mason has size, strength and when he plays smart basketball then he can be a decent defender,” he added.

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Both squads can still face off this season should the Blue Eagles oust Adamson in the playoff for the fourth playoff berth then beat top-seeded UP to advance to the final along with a Green Archers win over National University in the Final Four.

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