April 14, 2024

PBA: Rey Nambatac has 'chip on shoulder,' 'something to prove' and Blackwater coach Jeff Cariaso loves it

PBA: Rey Nambatac has
Rey Nambatac had an impressive debut for Blackwater in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup opener. Photo (c) PBA

 In his first test in a Blackwater uniform, Rey Nambatac passed with flying colors.

 Nambatac produced a splendid outing, firing 27 points he laced with a career-best 10 assists in the Bossing's 96-93 triumph over Meralco in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Blackwater coach Jeff Cariaso pointed out how he particularly likes that Nambatac plays with extra motivation, given that the spitfire guard, formerly of Rain or Shine, has a "chip on his shoulder." 

Nambatac was shipped to the Bossing for a first-round pick in the next draft. Elastopainters head coach Yeng Guiao previously cited his inability to give the Cagayan de Oro native "substantive minutes" as the reason behind the "beneficial" trade.

[WATCH: PBA Player of the Game Highlights: Rey Nambatac logs stellar Blackwater debut in escape vs Meralco]

“One thing we know is this guy is going to get better. I like the fact that he has a chip on his shoulders,” Cariaso said post-match at the Ynares Sports Centre in Antipolo.

“I love the fact that he comes in everyday with something to prove. And with a guy like that, you can never go wrong.”

Nambatac was especially instrumental for Blackwater in the final period, where he helped douse a late Bolts uprising on the way to victory.

Nambatac made four crucial free throws, including the last two with 19 ticks to go that sealed it for the Bossing. The former Letran star went 12-for-12 from the free-throw line and also collared five rebounds.

He attributed his outstanding performance to his new team’s trust.

“Thankful and grateful to coach Jeff and my teammates. Sobrang laki ng tiwala nila sa akin," said Nambatac.

"Everytime I have the ball, alam nila kung anong gagawin ko, kumbaga, eye-to-eye contact na lang kami. So, for me, kaya siguro ganoon kasi alam na nila kung paano ako maglaro,” he added.

A tougher test, however, awaits Nambatac and the rest of the Bossing on Saturday, March 2, when they duke it out with fellow opening day winner TNT at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Game time is at 3 p.m.