PBA Philippine Cup

Familiar bond between Rain or Shine, Nambatac remains after 1st encounter

Delfin Dioquino

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Familiar bond between Rain or Shine, Nambatac remains after 1st encounter

FRIEND TURNED FOE. Rey Nambatac in action for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Rain or Shine claims its third straight win at the expense of its former player Rey Nambatac as it completes its comeback against Blackwater

MANILA, Philippines – The familial bond remains off the court, but on it, business is business.

Rain or Shine claimed its third straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the expense of its former player Rey Nambatac as it completed a 110-103 comeback over Blackwater at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Saturday, April 6.

Facing Nambatac for the first time since they traded him to the Bossing, the Elasto Painters fought back from a 14-point deficit behind stellar performances from Santi Santillan and Beau Belga to hike their record to 3-4.

“Nothing has changed between us and Rey on the personal side. We’re both professionals. I’m sure he’ll be happy if he wins. And we’re also going to be happy if we win,” said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao in Filipino.

“But on the personal side, we still treat Rey like family.”

Nambatac spent six years with the Elasto Painters after they made him the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 PBA Draft.

The former Letran standout made a name for himself as a clutch performer, knocking down game-winners in multiple occasions and figuring prominently the last time Rain or Shine reached the semifinals in 2019.

But Nambatac saw a steady decline in his playing time and production, in large part due to the Elasto Painters bringing in a bevy of younger guards.

And just before the conference started, Rain or Shine sent Nambatac to Blackwater in exchange for a pair of first-round picks in the next two drafts.

Eager to ball out against his former squad, Nambatac erupted for 7 points in an 11-0 start and helped the Bossing mount their biggest lead at 18-4 early in the opening quarter.

“We knew we’re going to have problems with Rey Nambatac. Of course, it is only natural that you’re motivated to play really well against your former team,” said Guiao.

But the Elasto Painters got the last laugh as Santillan churned out a game-high 28 points with 7 rebounds and 3 assists, while Belga posted 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists to follow up his historic triple-double outing.

Jhonard Clarito also shone in the win with 10 points, half of those coming in the 10-0 run in the fourth quarter that turned an 86-92 deficit to a 96-92 lead and gave Rain or Shine the upper hand for good.

Andrei Caracut added 12 points as Elasto Painters beat Blackwater for the 10th straight time, a winning streak dating back to 2019.

Rey Suerte tallied 20 points and 5 rebounds for the Bossing, who absorbed their third consecutive loss and dropped to an even 3-3.

Nambatac finished with 13 points before he fouled out with under two minutes left.

The Scores

Rain or Shine 110 – Santillan 28, Belga 21, Clarito 16, Caracut 12, Mamuyac 8, Demusis 7, Norwood 6, Borboran 6, Ildefonso 5, Nocum 1, Asistio 0, Belo 0.

Blackwater 103 – Suerte 20, Nambatac 13, Kwekuteye 11, Rosario 10, Tungcab 9, Casio 9, Hill 7, Chua 6, David 6, Guinto 5, Ilagan 5, Sena 2, Escoto 0.

Quarters: 22-28, 49-54, 80-84, 110-103.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.