Nambatac delivers on both ends in Knights’ tough win over JRU
Rey Nambatac has come a long way from his hustling and bustling style of play during his first two years at Letran.
When the Knights were still Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal’s team, Nambatac was utilized as more of a hustle player to compliment his two scoring teammates.
Now with Cruz and Racal in the pros, Nambatac took the opportunity to slide into the scorer’s role, and then some.
Nambatac powered Letran 67-62 past Jose Rizal University and the lanky forward was front and center.
READ: NCAA: Nambatac powers Letran past JRU
His 29 points led all scorers while also grabbing five boards and coming away with two steals.
“Tinaasan ko talaga intensity ko, kasi coming from a loss, we can’t afford to lose again, kailangan manalo kami, and wag nang sayangin ang opportunity na nakuha namin kanina,” said Nambatac.
Letran was coming off a disappointing loss to University of Perpetual Help and things also looked bleak in the waning minutes against the Heavy Bombers.
Paulo Pontejos, who finished with 27 points, almost became the savior for JRU when he chopped down Letran’s 60-53 lead to 62-60 with 1:06 remaining.
Nambatac, however, would not let the game slip away from the Knights as he answered with a long triple for the game’s dagger and give Letran a 65-60 lead with 44.5 seconds left.
It was also Nambatac who made life difficult for Pontejos.
Pontejos did lead his team in scoring but he only shot 30 percent from deep.
“Sabi ko kasi puputok ito si Pontejos so second half ako na nagbantay,” said Nambatac. “Sabi ko kay coach ‘coach bigay niyo na sa akin si Pontejos,’ talagang pinahirapan ko siya para ma-stop siya.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.