Home court hero Nambatac cruises for Letran’s NCAA On Tour win
Rey Nambatac has already proven that he is Letran’s main man. In fact, the exclamation point to that notion arrived at the place where it really mattered.
Nambatac carried the Knights to the victory against the College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers, 92–78, in front of a packed Letran Gym during the NCAA On Tour on Thursday.
The ‘Stingrey’ scored a season high 31 points to become the first player in Season 93 to score 30 or more, and go with 11 rebounds and five assists.
However, the Intramuros-based dribblers found themselves bothered by their own excitement to put on a show for their home crowd, resulting to a sluggish performance early in the game, 14–21 in the first period. But Nambatac exploded for 15 points in the second period to spearhead Letran’s offense.
“Syempre home crowd, naninibago kami, gusto namin na medyo magpasikat kami,” said Nambatac, adding, “Pero nung nag-stick na kami sa sistema ni coach, dun kami umarangkada agad.”
Although a nip and tuck battle during the third period, the Knights managed to take control of the tempo in the final canto. An 11–0 run was enough for them to pull away, 77–66. The Blazers tried to make their own run but weren’t able to hold the Knights off with Nambatac, Jeo Ambohot, and Bong Quinto providing steady offense.
“Sobrang saya kasi lalo na last year ko na dito sa Letran, last year ko na rin sa NCAA. Magandang opportunity sakin to dahil bago ko grumaduate at least may dala-dala kong experience na ganto kasaya,” expressed Nambatac when asked about the feeling of playing in front of his alma mater.
Head coach Jeff Napa praised Nambatac but insisted that other players were also there to compliment his superstar senior.
“Rey Nambatac [is] Rey Nambatac, di mo na parang pwede baguhin apelyido nyan eh,” Napa said. “Pero kailangan dun yung mga mag-susuporta talaga sakanya. Good thing, ayun nga, may lumalabas na mga talagang willing to step up.”
Quinto added 14 points and seven assists to the win, while Ambohot finished with another stellar double-double with 11 markers and 12 boards. Daryl Pascual, who barely saw action in the season, had 12 points and five rebounds who started for the Knights.
Letran is the first home team to win in an On Tour game for a 3–3 win-loss card in the season. They will face University of Perpetual Help on August 11.