Nambatac pulls Blackwater into PBA win column in his debut

Nambatac pulls Blackwater into PBA win column in his debut

/ 05:15 AM February 29, 2024

Rey Nambatac Blackwater PBA

Rey Nambatac makes his debut for Blackwater Bossing in the PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

ANTIPOLO CITY—Rey Nambatac was about to head toward the exit of Ynares Center here following a terrific debut for his new team Blackwater when he suddenly saw Rain or Shine assistant coach Caloy Garcia.

Nambatac went to have a short chat with Garcia, who urged his former player dating back to the NCAA and the PBA D-League to keep blossoming in his new environment.


“I consider them (Rain or Shine) as like my second family,” Nambatac told the Inquirer in Filipino after dropping 27 points while dishing out a career-best 10 assists in the Bossing’s 96-93 win over the Meralco Bolts to pull back the curtains on the PBA Philippine Cup.


SCHEDULE: 2024 PBA Philippine Cup 

He immediately corrected himself: “Actually, they are a second family.”

The former Letran star is two weeks removed from changing employers after being dealt by the Elasto Painters—his team for seven seasons filled with a mix of good and bad memories plus a number of playoff stints—to a Bossing side that is a galaxy away from being considered one of the league’s heavyweights.

Picked in the first round of the 2017 Draft, Nambatac showed signs of being Rain or Shine’s main man and had his share of game-winning shots in both the eliminations and in the playoffs.

READ: PBA: Jeff Cariaso gushes about Rey Nambatac’s addition to Blackwater

But in the previous conference, the import-laced Commissioner’s Cup, Nambatac endured dealing with inconsistent minutes under coach Yeng Guiao, a situation that even his girlfriend Keisha brought up on social media.


Rain or Shine eventually shipped Nambatac for Blackwater’s future draft picks.

“Honestly in my seven years with Rain or Shine, which is actually my first PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) team, I was able to become a better player in terms of decision-making, in terms of my playing style,” he said. “And the camaraderie we have through ups and down was second to none.”

Springboard win

The experience he had at Rain or Shine is something he wants to bring at Blackwater, which hopes to see the upset win over Meralco as a springboard for a better showing this time.

Blackwater won its initial match of Season 48, defeating Converge in the import-flavored Commissioner’s Cup, only to drop the next 10 matches to suffer an early exit.

“We started off with a win also (last conference). The rest of the way was a learning experience,” said coach Jeffrey Cariaso. “But we hope to improve on that. I honestly believe that we have a better team than the last. I think the guys understand their roles even if they’re in a period of getting to know each other.

“We’re looking forward to the next game, and our approach is simple, which is treating each game like a playoff game,” added Cariaso, whose team’s next foe is TNT on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

For Nambatac, there’s also eagerness to prove something.

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“I’m grateful for my time with Rain or Shine. But at the same time, this is also a job,” he said. “At the end of the day, I have to accept what was given to me. I’m still thankful that I was able to get a second chance to showcase what I have.

TAGS: Blackwater, PBA, Rey Nambatac

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