Rey Nambatac was undoubtedly the savior of Rain or Shine last Tuesday when he sank the dagger triple to sink San Miguel Beer, but the gunslinging guard was far from satisfied with how he played that night.
That shot of his in the dying seconds was the only field goal he made as he missed his first six shots. So, redemption was the only thing on his mind heading into the Elasto Painters’ clash versus Terrafirma, Friday.
And bounce back he did.
Part of Coach Caloy Garcia’s starting unit, Nambatac was aggressive right from the get-go, shooting his way to 19 points to lead his side to the 91-82 victory over the Dyip for their second win in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
“Ang mindset ko talaga itong game na ‘to is mag-bounce back coming from a bad game against SMB.
“Nung first five ako, talagang aggressive ako kasi alam ko dun ko makukuha yung flow ng timing ko,” he said in the walk-off interview.
In nearly 27 minutes of action, the Letran product shot 42-percent from the field that included three triples, none bigger than the one he made from way beyond that stopped the CJ Perez-led Dyip’s comeback.
Terrafirma chopped a 66-82 deficit to just six with 3:31 left in the game following a 10-0 run until Nambatac hit that shot, which was then followed by Gabe Norwood’s back-to-back buckets that sealed the win.
“I think Rey today was more aggressive in scoring.
“Last game, he was trying to feed other players. Rey is a great player. He’s gonna end up as one of those superstars ng PBA. That’s what I see in him because he has the guts to take shots. We were already playing bad, he came in and he started hitting those three-point shots from way far,” said Coach Caloy Garcia.
Nambatac and the Elasto Painters’ confidence are on a high now that they have won their first two games in the bubble, which has enabled them to gain a share of leadership with TNT, Phoenix, and Ginebra.
And the third-year guard hopes that they can carry that as the tilt goes along.
“Hopefully itong kumpiyansa na meron kami ngayon, madala namin hanggang sa mga susunod pa naming games,” Nambatac said.
“[But it’s a] long way to go. Sana magstick pa rin kami sa system namin.”
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