AFTER the tug-of-war over reigning UAAP juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy, it’s the turn of NCAA high school star Rey Nambatac to be heavily recruited by college basketball powers in the country.
The former NCAA juniors Rookie of the Year and MVP said he remains undecided on where to play college ball until now as a number of schools belonging to the UAAP are reportedly trying to lure him away from Letran.
The native of Cagayan de Oro, however, admitted the Intramuros-based school remains a top priority for him after steering the Squires to a Final Four finish last season.
“My first choice is Letran sa ngayon,” Nambatac admitted to Spin.ph, unmindful of the expected transition the Knights are expected to go through next year following the resignation of longtime mentor Louie Alas.
“Kasi nasanay na ako sa surroundings ng Letran, tsaka hindi ko na kailangan mag-adjust.”
But the 6-foot guard isn’t denying that he’s also considering offers from UAAP schools such as Adamson, University of the Philippines, and Far Eastern University.
“Aside from Letran, those three schools are nice and nakikita ko na may slot ako, and ma-e-expose ako kasi bawat coach may tiwala sa akin.”
FEU incidentally is currently in the middle of a dispute with Ateneo for the right to land the services of Pingoy, the two-time UAAP juniors MVP who led the Baby Tamaraws to their first UAAP title in 25 years last season.
That the 18-year-old Nambatac might find himself under the same predicament soon may be understandable. Afterall, Nambatac won Rookie of the Year honors in 2010, and then bagged the MVP title a year later.
The recent season saw him yield the spotlight to talented teammate, Rookie-MVP John Quinto, and instead, concentrated on improving his game, submitting an all-around average of 16.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 3.5 steals as the Squires made it to the Final Four.
Nambatac said he’s trying to balance things out before making a decision as he continues to seek advice from both his parents and coaches.
“Until now hindi pa ako naka-decide kung san ako maglalaro. Naguguluhan ako kasi hindi ko alam kung tama ba yung (magiging) decision ko pag pumasok ako sa school na pinili ko,” said the former member of the PH Youth team.
“Gusto ko kasi dahan-dahan lang at hindi ko pagsisisihan ang school na pipiliin ko.”
But wherever school – or league for that matter – Nambatac ends up, he said it’s going to be his performance on the court that will matter most.
“It’s not (that) important that I should go to the UAAP because mas exposed dun. It’s all about talent. Nasa akin na yun kung papano ko ia-angat yung pangalan ko kung nasa NCAA ako,” Nambatac said, who hopes to come up with a final decision by December.