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Rey Nambatac admits meltdown vs Converge still stings

Rain or Shine’s meltdown versus Converge almost two weeks ago weighed so heavily on Rey Nambatac that he admitted losing sleep over it.

The Elasto Painters were in a good position to end the longest winning streak in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, only to blow a 17-point lead and bow to a tight 102-101 decision, absorbing as well their second straight defeat.

More painful for the star guard, though, was his attempt to win the game, where he launched from beyond the arc still with about five seconds left but missed.

“Nahiya talaga ako,” said the former Letran Knights star, who’s been touted as the franchise’s main man.

“Hindi ako makatulog ng ilang days.”

It also didn’t help that Nambatac has been having an up-and-down ride in the tilt. In 10 games including the Converge match, the lefty gunner scored in single digits thrice, one of which was a four-point outing versus NorthPort.

That is why he made it a point to vent all his frustrations in their match against Blackwater on Friday, his way of redeeming himself.

He did just that. Nambatac submitted a conference-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, together with seven rebounds and four assists to help Rain or Shine keep their playoff hopes up with a 116-97 victory.

“Coming into this game, talagang motivation ko na yun na whatever happens in today’s game, kailangan kong suklian si coach Yeng, especially ‘yung mga teammates ko at assistant coaches,” he said.

“Ito yung best way ko against Blackwater na makapag-bounce back at kahit papaano man lang, eh mabawasan ko yung frustration sa sarili ko and sa mga kasama ko na rin, especially kay coach Yeng,” he added.

Head coach Yeng Guiao, who immediately gave pointers to Nambatac after that loss to Converge as he wants his ward to understand his know-how, especially during those situations, was glad to see his go-to guy back in his old self.

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“Sa akin kasi, noong game ng araw na yun, pinagsabihan ko siya kung ano yung mga magandang diskarte. After that, nakalimutan ko na yun. Pero syempre, sa player, mag-stick yun,” said the straightforward mentor.

“And all through out this confererence, alam ko kasi yung role ni Rey sa team na ito, leader siya, go-to guy siya, inaasahan siya ng mga kasama niya, ng coaching staff. Importante talaga makuha na niya yung rhythm ng game niya.”

Nambatac regaining his rhythm will come in handy especially in their all-important game against Magnolia next week, added Guiao.

“Importante mabuo ‘yung loob niya na aasahan talaga siya. Every game, I try to give him a chance to get that rhythm, magka-break siya, makakumpiyansa siya, para lang maibalik yung dati niyang kumpiyansa sa sarili niya,” he said.

“Pero mabuti babalik na. Kailangan namin ‘yun sa Magnolia, tsaka kung maswertehan namin, may playoff, o may next round kami. Importante yung role ni Rey,” the champion bench tactician closed.

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

Written By

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

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