REY Nambatac came to the rescue anew as Rain or Shine nipped NorthPort 70-68 last night and grabbed a share of the lead in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble at the Smart 5G-powered Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena.
Proving to be steady at the crunch like what he has shown just last week, Nambatac scored the Elasto Painters’ last four points from the charity stripe, the last coming in the final 1.3 seconds that gave his team a two-point spread.
That proved to be the final count as Sean Manganti’s triple try came up way short against Javee Mocon’s defense, sealing Rain or Shine’s third win in as many games that tied it with idle TNT.
“Ever since he was my player at Letran I’ve already seen he has the guts to take those shots,” said E-Painters coach Caloy Garcia of Nambatac, who hit the game-saving triple in an 87-83 win over San Miguel Beer last Tuesday.
Nambatac’s heroics also preserved the efforts of the E-Painters’ relievers who stepped up on a day their starters were stymied.
“Today was really an ugly win for us,” said Garcia. “I wanted a better game from us, better production from everybody. I think we can do better. We just have to review what went wrong.”
Rain or Shine finished the game with a 22-of-74 field shooting coupled with 13 turnovers.
Good thing NorthPort couldn’t do any better, winding up with 24-of-79 clip and 18 miscues.
Rookie Adrian Wong came off the bench to score 15 points, enough to lead Rain or Shine, whose relievers outscored their NorthPort counterparts 48-19.