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Mamuyac, Mike Nieto draw praise from Chot, Castro after valiant stand vs TNT


ANTIPOLO – Gian Mamuyac and Mike Nieto played so well on Thursday night that even opposing head coach Chot Reyes gave them props.

The TNT mentor tipped his hat to the Rain or Shine youngsters as they headed their side’s near-upset of the defending champs at the Ynares Center here.

Nieto top-scored for the Elasto Painters with 19 points, while Mamuyac fired a conference-high 18 markers in the tough 89-85 defeat in overtime.

“After the game, I told Gian and Mike Nieto, those two guys almost beat us, and they just had some great shots,” Reyes said shortly after the game. “We had to really adjust our defensive schemes to be able to stop them.

“When we were defending them with our regular schemes, they would just pick it apart. So, in the end, we had to put somebody already, like Kelly [Williams] on Mike Nieto, and give Roger Pogoy a lot of effort on Gian.

“Great, great games from those two guys,” added the champion mentor, who recently won his sixth Coach of the Year award.

Nieto himself confirmed what Reyes had told them, and just felt immensely honored to be praised by someone he holds in high regard.

2022-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Rain-or-Shine-vs-TNT-Mike-Nieto Mamuyac, Mike Nieto draw praise from Chot, Castro after valiant stand vs TNT Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

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“Nag-congrats si Coach Chot sa amin ni Mamu,” said the former Gilas stalwart. “Actually dream din namin ni Mamu, because Coach Chot’s one of the best coaches here in the Philippines, ‘di ba?

“And sana mabigyan kami ng tsansa one day to learn from Coach Chot, coming from Coach Chot na ‘yun, it’s a big thing for us,” he added.

While Nieto has proven how reliable he can be on any given night, Mamuyac has surprisingly been providing quite a presence for Rain or Shine — and he’s been one of the better performers among the Gilas picks in the recent draft.

#ReadMore  PBA to discuss future of '19 Gilas draftees, first window hosting with SBP

The lanky defensive whiz, however, deflected all the credit to the nurturing culture of the Elasto Painters — including Nieto.

“Sobrang grateful lang din ako sa teammates ko,” he said, “kasi hindi nila ako pinapagalitan ‘pag tumitira ako — opposite pa nga e, nagagalit pa sila ‘pag hindi ako tumitira. And, lagi nila akong binibigyan ng confidence.

“Sobrang laking bagay po kasi alam niyo naman po ka-close ko siya (Nieto), and entering an unfamiliar territory or environment, sakto naging teammate ko pa siya, sobrang laking bagay for me na maging comfortable agad.”

Still, both the Ateneo de Manila products would prefer getting the victory over anything else, something they could’ve actually done had they only protected the 16-point lead they established during the third quarter.

“We lost the game. Wala naman kaming pakialam sa individual performance namin kasi gusto namin one win sa standings e,” Nieto said. “But you know, step by step. We know that we’re a young team, but sabi nga namin hindi na bumabata sina Kuya Beau. sina Kuya Gabe, even though we’re a young team, we want to give them another championship.

“And ‘yun ‘yung talagang pinaglalaban namin kasi ‘yung respeto at pagmamahal na binigay nung mga beterano sa amin, grabe. And we want to repay them. Talo kami ngayon but we’ll learn from it.”

And as the interview with the two young guns was ongoing, Jayson Castro, one of Asia’s best point guards last decade, passed by. And he told the boys:

“Good game. Gagaling ng mga ‘to!”

All PBA games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

The second game of each gameday is also live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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