FACING familiar foes in a championship series again, Rey Nambatac was highly motivated in going up against the core of San Beda.
The Letran star played like a man on a mission as he almost brought back Racal from the dead in its 93-85 defeat to Cignal-San Beda in Game One of the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup finals.
Nambatac scored 23 points, eight of which coming in the fourth, where they almost stormed back from a 21-point deficit. He then admitted that he got extra motivation seeing his longtime rivals on the opposite end of the court anew.
"Kala ko, sa NCAA lang namin makakalaban Beda sa Finals. Pati rin pala rito sa D-League. Maganda sa amin yun, sa akin, experience din para sa upcoming NCAA," Nambatac said.
[See Perkins powers Hawkeyes to move on verge of Aspirants' Cup title]
There were instances where Nambatac can be seen in heated exchanges with San Beda gunner Davon Potts and that only seems to fire him up even more.
"Knowing Davon, talagang magaling, slasher, scorer. Siyempre, ako naman, china-challenge ko siya kung anong meron siya," he said.
"Yun nga yung kaninang ginagawa ko. Di naman ako nanggigigil, ginagawa ko lang yung sistema namin," he added.
While Nambatac definitely got the better of that match-up, it was Potts who had the final laugh as the Hawkeyes drew one step closer to winning their maiden D-League title.
Payback is the only thing Nambatac is focused on when the title series shifts to the Filoil Flying V Centre come Monday.
"Medyo down yung team namin kasi talo sa Game 1. Pero karamihan sa team ko, sabi gawin naming motivation yung Game 1. Yung lapses sa game na ‘to, sana sa Game 2, maitama na namin," he said.