The suddenly streaking Rain or Shine has emerged with its deadly 1-2 punch in its back-to-back wins to stay afloat in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs race.
The combo includes fifth-year guard Rey Nambatac and rookie Gian Mamuyac.
“Mamu’s enjoying having the opportunity playing alongside Rey, being our 1-2 punch at times when we needed baskets,” said Elasto Painters head coach Chris Gavina after his side’s 107-90 victory over Blackwater, Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Nambatac dropped 26 points on his part with seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. He was also a plus-29 in his 32:30 of floor time.
And all that stat-stuffing with him coming off the bench.
“Sabi ko nga kanina na pag maganda yung pinapakita ng first group, willing talaga ako mag off-the-bench,” said the 5-foot-11 guard from Letran.
“Good thing naman na talagang kinukuha nung mga bata namin yung opportunity na yun.”
And one of the brightest young guys in Rain or Shine’s dugout is Mamuyac, who tallied 20 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
The product of Tab Baldwin’s program in Ateneo was also coming off a player of the game honors in the Elasto Painters’ last win versus NLEX, wherein he supplied 15 points.
But the 6-foot two-way player was quick to shrug his offensive firepower on display the past two matches.
“‘Yung offense naman po namin dito sa team parang sa Ateneo, free-flowing and kung sino may opportunity sa kanya mapupunta ‘yung bola,” said Mamuyac.
“In terms of our offense, siguro swerte lang din ako tonight and ‘yung opportunities dumadating lang din sa akin.”
With Rain or Shine booking back-to-back wins and rising to 3-6 for solo ninth, catching the bus to the playoffs seems more possible and Gavina is excited for his squad.
“Every day, someone’s gotta prove something and we just don’t know, in our team that’s what makes us really dynamic,” said Gavina.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.