KEVIN Alas is glad to witness Rey Nambatac's rise from role player to top scoring option for Letran, giving the Knights a good chance in their bid to claim back-to-back NCAA titles.
“’Yung maturity niya, you can see na last year, supporting role lang siya. From supporting role to go-to-guy, ’yung adjustment sa kanya parang hindi masyadong mahirap. Parang natural lang sa kanya ’yung maging go-to-guy,” said Alas.
Shrugging off pain in his ankle, Nambatac scored 40 as Letran downed San Sebastian, the first time a Knight reached the 40-point mark since Alas himself dropped 43, also against the Stags in a semifinal match on October 13, 2012.
Now Letran’s go-to guy with Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal already in the PBA, Nambatac is posting huge numbers, leading the league with an average of 24.2 points. The southpaw guard is also posting 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in an all-around effort for the Knights.
Alas encourages Nambatac to continue to work on his game, noting a big game like not only earns praise but also places a target on his back.
“He has to be consistent and dapat no room for complacency kasi hihigpit na ’yung depensa sa kanya,” Alas said.
Now a starting guard for NLEX in the PBA, Alas also believes Nambatac’s name can now be mentioned in the same breath as NCAA stars such as Jio Jalalon.
“I’m happy for him kasi he is proving that he is one of the premier players sa collegiate basketball,” said Alas.
“When you talk about the best collegiate basketball players, sila Jalalon ’yun eh. I think he proved that he is part of that elite group kasi he has been consistent this season.”
Alas said he also sees similarities in his collegiate career with Nambatac and believes the new Letran star can boost his stock by making it to the national basketball program Gilas cadets.
“Fourth year ko rin kasi ’yung breakout year ko. Last game, nag-33 points siya tapos ngayon 40. Nakita ko, similar ’yung fourth year na career season.
“I heard na parang he is being considered so magandang stepping stone para sa kanya ‘yun na i-represent ’yung bansa,” said Alas, who also became part of the Gilas cadets during his fourth year with the Knights.