REY Nambatac admitted he was so disappointed after Rain or Shine’s loss to Converge in a November 13 game that saw the Elasto Painters squander a huge lead, more so since he was entrusted to take the game's final shot.
Nambatac missed that attempt – a three – and the Elasto Painters lost, 102-101, after leading by as much as 17 points at one point in the game.
The Rain or Shine guard said he was determined to bounce back against Blackwater, which he did by exploding for 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting in the Elasto Painters’ 116-97 win over Blackwater on Friday.
“Going into this game, motivation ko na ‘yun na whatever happens, kailangan kong suklian si coach Yeng [Guiao], ‘yung mga players, ‘yung mga teammates ko, ‘yung mga assistant coaches,” said Nambatac.
Guiao said after that game against Converge that the final Rain or Shine’s play was designed to free up Nambatac, even though he was struggling in that game. He ended up with a 1-of-8 clip from the field.
The former Letran standout said he was so disappointed with himself for missing that late attempt at a game-winner, more so since Rain or Shine's playoff hopes were hanging in the balance.
“Sobrang totoo ‘yun na nahihiya ako, hindi ako makatulog ng ilang days. Pero tingin ko, eto ‘yung best way ko against Blackwater na makapag-bounce back at kahit papaano, mabawasan ‘yung frustration sa sarili ko at sa mga kasama ko, and especially kay coach Yeng,” said Nambatac.
With Nambatac’s offensive prowess back on against Blackwater, Rain or Shine moved up into a tie for seventh with Phoenix Super LPG with a 5-6 win-loss record, keeping its hopes alive for a quarterfinal berth.
Guiao said he had already moved on from that loss to Converge immediately after the game, but he understands the frustrations of Nambatac.
The Rain or Shine coach said he continuously gives his player the confidence to get their rhythm going especially in the home stretch of the eliminations, which could come in handy if the ballclub advances to the next phase.
Rain or Shine’s final game of the elimination round will be against Magnolia on December 2.
“Actually, siyempre he is a player mismo. Mahirap niya malimutan ‘yun. Pero nung gabing ‘yun, pinagsabihan ko siya kung ano ang magandang diskarte. After that, kinalimutan ko na ‘yun. Pero siyempre, as a player, magiistick ‘yun,” said Guiao.
“All through this conference, alam ko ‘yung role ni Rey sa team na ‘to. Leader siya, go-to-guy siya, inaasahan siya ng mga kasama niya. Importante talaga na makuha niya ang rhythm niya. Importante na magkakumpiyansa siya. Importante na mabuo ‘yung loob niya na aasahan talaga siya. Every game, I tried to give him a chance to get that rhythm,” said Guiao.
“Pero mabuti bumabalik na. Kailangan namin ‘yan sa Magnolia, at kung susuwertehin, may playoff, may next round kami,” said Guiao.