REY Nambatac once again played the hero's role for Rain or Shine on Thursday night, scoring the game-winner in an 85-83 win over Blackwater that enabled the Elasto Painters to reach the PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals.
The sophomore guard showed maturity beyond his years, scoring 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead Rain or Shine back from the depths of a 13-point deficit in the deciding Game Three of the quarterfinal series.
He capped his heroics with the go-ahead jumper with 18.5 seconds left, replicating his heroics in Game One where he also hit the game-winning three-pointer.
“Nambatac carried us in this game. Lumalabas talaga ‘yung maturity ni Rey,” said Garcia.
When told about the good words from Garcia, Nambatac said it was in fact the constant tongue-lashing he got from his coach that hastened his growth.
“Natuto na ako sa mga sigaw, galit ni coach Caloy, sa practice at sa laro,” Nambatac said. “Siyempre, ako naman sa isip ko, hindi puwedeng lagi na lang akong sinisigawan ni coach, lagi na lang niya akong pinapagalitan.
"Nasa isip ko, may kulang, may mali sa ginagawa ko, tinatama ko step-by-step ‘yung mali ko. Para pagdating sa loob ng court, tulad nun mga clutch moments, matured na ako. Hindi na ako tulad dati.
"Dati inaamin ko, natataranta ako, natatakot ako, kasi pro league na ‘to eh. Para sa akin naman, para [maging] successful ka sa pro basketball, you have to take that challenge. Akuhin mo ‘yun kasi ‘yung mga ganung chances, ‘yun ‘yung magbibigay sa iyo ng confidence para sa mga susunod na laban,” said Nambatac.
The 25-year old former Letran star said he had no hesitstion to shoot with the campaign on the line.
“Confident lang ako na i-shoot ‘yung last possession kasi nasa sa akin na naman ‘yung bola eh. Ang laki ng tiwala ng mga teammates ko. Nung paubos na ‘yung oras, hinahanap ako ni kuya Beau [Belga]," he said.
"Malaking chance ‘yun kasi binibigay niya sa akin. Ako naman, maganda rin ‘yung shooting percentage ko kaya inako ko na rin. Ma-shoot man o hindi, at least overtime,” added Nambatac.
Nambatac said he was determined to step up with Rain or Shine shorthanded owing to injuries to James Yap, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Ed Daquioag.
“Simple lang. I need to step up. Motivation ko is kulang kulang kami. We are not a healthy team. Maraming injuries. Wala nang huhugutin si coach Caloy kundi kaming mga bata katulad ko, Javee Mocon," he said.
"The good thing is nag-step up kami. Nag-pay off lahat ng hardwork namin at ‘yung tiwala na binibigay ni coach Caloy sa amin at lalo na sa akin."