Rey Nambatac bucked a lackluster shooting performance and delivered when it mattered the most as Rain or Shine outlasted San Miguel, 87-83, on Tuesday in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup restart at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The 26-year old Nambatac was struggling all-game long, missing his first 6 attempts before draining an off-balanced, desperation triple with just 12 seconds left on the game clock to give the Elasto Painters more breathing room via a 4-point edge, 85-81.
The Beermen overcame a poor start and a managed to crawl back into the game late in the fourth courtesy of back-to-back triples by Mo Tautuaa and Terrence Romeo which brought the deficit to a solitary point, 82-81.
A putback by Romeo after the Nambatac trey fanned San Miguel’s hopes anew but Javee Mocon put the finishing touches on Rain or Shine’s victory with two clutch free throws.
“We got the win probably because Rey hit a big three-point shot to give us a four-point lead,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
“Coming into the game, wala kasing tune-up games so the first quarter would be an adjustment for us but we started pretty well. Knowing San Miguel, they would fight until the end,” he added.
Mocon led the Elasto Painters with 25 big points while Kris Rosales and Beau Belga contributed 15 and 12 markers, respectively. Nambatac finished with 4.
Marcio Lassiter paced the defending champions with 20 points highlighted by 5-of-9 shooting from long distance while Alex Cabagnot added 18. Tautuaa had a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds while Romeo, who shot a miserable 5-of-16 from the field, chipped in 11.
The Beermen fell to 1-1 and will take on TNT at the same venue on Friday, October 16.
Rain or Shine 87 – Mocon 25, Rosales 15, Belga 12, Ponferrada 7, Borboran 9, Onwubere 6, Norwood 3, Nambatac 4, Torres 4, Doliguez 2, Wong 0, Yap 0.
San Miguel 83 – Lassiter 20, Cabagnot 18, Tautuaa 17, Romeo 11, Gamalinda 5, Ross 4, Mamaril 3, Santos 2, Escoto 2, Pessumal 1 , Zamar 0, de Guzman 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20 , 46-41, 67-54, 87-83.