IT IS not everyday that San Beda and Letran stars get together and play for one team.
So when the reformatting of the NCAA All Star game was announced and the usual rivals were pitted to play with each other, the players made the most out of it.
"Nakakatuwa na archrival nga pero kakampi ko sila sa All Stars. Sa loob lang naman kami na rivals, outside the court we're friends naman. Sila coach Boyet, napaka-friendly and approachable," said Letran star Rey Nambatac, who finished with 12 points and three assists in the Saints' 84-80 win over the Heroes.
Nambatac, alongside fellow Letran stars Bong Quinto and JP Calvo, conspired with San Beda's Robert Bolick, JV Mocon and Davon Potts to form a solid squad for coach Boyet Fernandez.
Though it was Prince Eze who emerged the All Star MVP, it was the rivals turned teammates who pulled through in the end as they scored 13 straight points before Exe sealed the deal from the stripe.
JV Mocon, who finished the game alongside Nambatac, Bolick, Quinto and Eze, was happy that they set all rivalries aside for this special game.
"Nawala yung rivalry. Talagang nagtulungan kami to get the win against CJ Perez, talagang malakas sila e. Malakas din naman kami so maganda talaga laban," said Mocon.
Mocon didn't find it hard to adapt to their Knights counterparts. He explained why.
"Sa tagal ba naman ng scouting namin sa kanila, alam na alam namin yang mga galaw nila Rey Nambatac, nila Bong (Quinto) kaya nag gel naman kami."
Bolick, on the other hand, was impressed with his rivals' basketball IQ and court sense, crediting the Letran trio as they quickly gelled with them.
"Diyan mo malalaman na sobrang tatalino nila sa court, nakakapag-adjust sila kaagad. Sobrang tuwa ko na nakakalaro ko yung pinakamagagaling na player, so fun to play with them," Bolick said.
"Kilala ko naman sila, mabait naman talaga sila. Pero pag kalaban, talagang laban. Pero ito, magkakasama kami talagang iba yung pagka-gel namin pag magkakasama kami sa court."
Aside from the players, Nambatac was also delighted to play under Fernandez, who he has always played against whether it be in the D-League or the NCAA.
For him, he would certainly love to play for him again in the future.
"Nakakatuwa din na naging coach ko siya sa All Stars. Alam ko naman maliit lang mundo ng basketball, I hope someday maging coach ko si coach Boyet. Iba siya mag-handle ng players e talagang immotivate ka."