Even on his best day, Nambatac recognizes his faults
With the game winding down, Letran coach Jeff Napa called the attention of Rey Nambatac after firing a forced three in the Knights’ game against San Sebastian on Tuesday.
It doesn’t matter if Nambatac has been waxing hot for the Knights, Napa still wants the time on the floor to be a learning experience.
“Kahit paano, ine-emphasize ko pa rin yung discipline. Medyo forced shot yun and alam naman ni Rey yun. Alam naman nya na pag nagalit ako, ibig sabihin may mali talaga sa nangyaring sitwasyon,” said the first-year coach.
Nambatac understood where his coach was coming from and on the next play, he beat his man and drove to the rim against two defenders, dazzling the crowd with a gorgeous up-and-under move to seal the victory for the Knights, 90-77, for their fourth straight victory.
“Di lang naman para kay Rey yung play. Maraming option, pwede kay Toto (Calvo), pwede kay Mcjour (Luib),” noted Napa. “It just so happened na hinanap namin yung best option possible and si Rey yun at maging maganda ang resulta ng play na yun.”
Save for that forced shot that got the ire of his coach, everything Nambatac did was stupendous for the Knights as notched a new career-high of 40 points on a 13-of-24 shooting, 5-of-12 of those from three, to go along with 10 rebounds and dished out two assists.
The team captain, though, knows how to own up to his mistake.
“Inaamin ko na forced shot yun. Nanggigil ako eh. Parang gusto ko na tapusin yung laro para yung kalaban, totally mawalan na ng kumpyansa. Mali pala yung intensyon ko.”
Though there are still times when Nambatac makes his coaches scratch their heads, the 22-year-old slasher is trying his harders to play within the system in the hopes of leading Letran to another title this season.
“Nag-stick lang ako sa sistema ni coach Jeff, especially sa defense kasi doon kami nakakakuha ng offense namin. Doon ko kinukuha yung flow ng offense ko hanggang sa dumating na lang ng dumating,” he said.
What is evident, though, is the Knights will go wherever Nambatac can lead them, and the 6-foot guard is embracing the challenge of being the team’s leader on and off-the-court.
“Gusto ko lang ipakita yung pagiging leader ko sa loob ng court,” he said. “Every time na lumalamang o dumidikit yung kalaban, pinapakita ko sa teammates ko na wag kami bibigay at sumunod lang sila akin. Ako ang bahala sa inyo at di ko kayo pababayaan. Hangga’t kaya ko, ipapanalo natin yung game.”
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