MANILA, Philippines – Rey Nambatac hit the game-winner to tow Rain or Shine to a feisty 83-80 comeback win over Blackwater in the quarterfinals of the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, July 20.
The sophomore guard shrugged off a tough cover from Roi Sumang and pulled up from way beyond the arc with two ticks left as the No. 6 Elasto Painters drew first blood in their best-of-three duel against the No. 3 Elite.
It would not have been possible, though, if Rain or Shine failed to storm back from an eight-point deficit in the final two minutes.
Blackwater was comfortably ahead 80-72 until import Carl Montogomery hit a three-pointer, Nambatac sank a layup off a steal on Parks, and Gabe Norwood drained another triple to knot the score for the Elasto Painters.
Rain or Shine then pulled a stop on Parks to secure possession before Nambatac drilled in the three-pointer that settled the score.
Parks tried to tie the game for the Elite, but his three-point try hit only the backboard.
Montgomery finished with 17 points, 19 rebounds, and 2 blocks, Ed Daquioag chalked up 19 points, while Nambatac delivered 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Beau Belga chipped in 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, and Norwood added 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals in the victory.
Parks churned out 20 points and 6 rebounds for Blackwater, but they just could not secure the win as they went scoreless in the final 1:30 minutes.
Import Greg Smith – who replaced Staphon Blair – had 16 points, 19 rebounds, and 2 steals in the loss, while Mac Belo added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Rain or Shine 83 - Daquioag 19, Montgomery 17, Nambatac 13, Belga 11, Norwood 10, Rosales 5, Mocon 5, Ponferada 2, Onwubere 1, Borboran 0, Torres 0.
Blackwater 80 - Parks 20, Belo 17, Smith 16, Maliksi 12, Sumang 5, Al-Hussaini 3, Cortez 3, Alolino 2, Sena 2, Digregorio 0.
Quarters: 22-21, 50-39, 59-61, 83-80.
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.