Nambatac gives MP Hotel first Aspirants’ Cup win, shocks Cagayan
MANILA, Philippines – It ain’t over until the red lights flash.
Rey Nambatac shifted to another gear box as he shot a three-pointer at the buzzer lifting MP Hotel over Cagayan Valley, 107-106, for their first victory of the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Thursday afternoon at J.C.S.G.O Gym.
With six seconds left in the fourth, Warriors guard Rocky Acidre dished to the open Jan Colina who gave the extra pass to Nambatac just in the nick of time sending MP Hotel to a frenzy.
Warriors head coach Luis Gonzales said his team found the right way to channel their previous frustrations to an immense source of energy for their first win.
“The spirit inside the dugout, I can feel it that they were hurt from our first two games which were blowout losses,” Gonzales said. “They did not give up in this game.”
MP Hotel fell behind big in the third as they trailed by 16, 70-54, early in the third quarter.
Chris Masaglang then willed the Warriors as he closed the third scoring eight points in a 10-2 run to close the gap at 82-80.
Gonzales said they should emulate their “boss,” Manny Pacquiao’s work ethic.
“Our team’s goal is to give back the help that Boss Manny gave us,” Gonzales said. “We must also respect every opponent each game.”
It turned into a tale of missed free-throws in the eighth and sixth second mark when Kier Quinto missed one from the line that could have tied the game at 105, instead MP Hotel settled for 105-104.
Then it was Jason Melano’s turn to miss one of his freebies with 6.3 remaining putting Cagayan up 106-104.
Jopher Custodio had 26 points and 10 boards for MP Hotel to lead five Warriors who scored in double figures.
Quinto had 19 points with hero Nambatac adding 17. Rocky Acidre had 16 points, nine points in the fourth, and Chris Masaglang had 12.
Colina only scored two points but made his mark in the defensive end with six rejections and a constant presence in the Warriors’ trap defense.
Melano, Abel Galliguez, and Michael Mabulac each had 21 points for Cagayan. AC
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