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    As transfer rumors swirl, Nambatac is asked about playing for Yeng Guiao

    Sep 2, 2022
    Rey Nambatac Yeng Guiao
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    YENG Guiao’s surprise departure from NLEX has sparked fan speculation on his next coaching destination.

    While some suggested his transfer to the other group of sister teams at San Miguel Corp., some couldn’t help but wonder about the possibility of the seven-time PBA champion coach returning to Rain or Shine.

    Elasto Painters star Rey Nambatac welcomed the idea of playing for Guiao, the longtime RoS coach who left in 2016, just a year before the team drafted Nambatac seventh overall.

    Rey Nambatac on Yeng Guiao

    “Para sa akin, kahit na sino pa yan or kahit si coach Yeng – kung sakali man bumalik siya ng Rain or Shine, talagang willing ako matuto kay coach Yeng,” Nambatac said on SPIN Zoom In on Friday.

    “Based dun sa kuwento nila Beau Belga, nila Gabe Norwood, nila Jewel Ponferrada, dahil naabutan nila si coach Yeng … Nung kinukuwento nila sa akin yun, parang ako mismo nae-excite ako na parang ang sarap siguro na mahawakan ka ni coach Yeng,” he added.

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    Nambatac insisted he is content playing for current coach Chris Gavina, but he’s not discounting the possibility of being under Guiao, the fiery mentor known for his tough love.

    “Even if sobrang strikto niya, pero makikita mo talaga eh na tested and proven na kaya niya talagang buhayin yung player na wala ng kumpiyansa,” Nambatac said. “Yun yung gusto kong ma-achieve kung sakali man.”

    “Nung naglalaro ako sa college, si coach Yeng yung pinaka-boom na coach eh,” the Letran product added. “Dahil talagang yung mindset niya na kahit minsan nakakapag-salita siya ng hindi maganda sa players niya – pero ako as a player naiintindihan ko yun.”

    “Kaya lang niya nagawa yun, kasi gusto niya na magkaroon ka ng kumpiyansa. At kaya niya lang nagawa yung dahil alam niya na may ibubuga kang laro.”

    The young Elasto Painters have shown glimpses of their potential under Gavina, but have fallen short of the playoffs in back-to-back conferences, finishing ninth in this year’s Philippine Cup.

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    Nambatac has emerged as one of the bright spots for the team, averaging a team-high 14 points on 37-percent shooting, 1.2 triples, five boards, three assists, and 1.1 steals in 32 minutes over nine games in the all-Filipino conference.

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      And if ever, the 28-year-old Cagayan de Oro native is undautingly assuring he can avoid Guiao’s tongue-lashing.

      “I’m sure naman na hindi sasakit ulo ni coach Yeng sa ’kin,” Nambatac ended with a smile.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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