MANILA, Philippines – For a shooter as reliable as Rey Nambatac, it seemed impossible for him not to convert a single basket in a game.
However, that’s exactly what happened to the third-year guard during Game 2 of the NCAA Finals on Tuesday, October 27. Nambatac was not able to contribute a single point for Colegio de San Juan de Letran in in their 68-61 loss to San Beda College, which evened up their best-of-3 championship series at one game apiece.
Nambatac missed all 6 field goal attempts and 6 attempts from the foul line, including 4 free throws within the last 3 minutes which could have inched Letran closer to overcoming San Beda’s 66-61 lead.
Letran head coach Aldin Ayo came to the defense of the 5-foot-11 skipper and downplayed Nambatac’s scoreless performance as San Beda cruised to a 68-61 victory to forge a deciding Game 3 on Thursday, October 29.
“It’s one of the those days. It just goes to show that everyone is a human,” Ayo said in the post-game interview. Nambatac refused to grant interviews after the game.
However, Ayo highlighted Nambatac’s role as a defensive player over his lackluster scoring output, pointing out that he grabbed 6 rebounds and two steals.
“I have always insisted to him that it’s not all points because you are doing great on defense. It’s not all about points in basketball,” he stated.
Aside from Nambatac’s offensive meltdown, one of the biggest factors that led to Letran’s Game 2 setback versus San Beda was the team’s 24-of-83 (29%) shooting from the field, while making only 8 out of 16 free-throw efforts.
In addition, the Muralla-based Knights were limited to 3 field goals in the fourth quarter, which came from two layups by Kevin Racal and McJour Luib’s three-pointer.
“It all boils down on how focus you are in the game. Even if you have a bad form of shooting, but your focus is there, you will get a basket. It’s a mental thing,” Ayo stressed. – Rappler.com