Rey Nambatac capped Rain or Shine’s fiery windup with a clutch jumper that ousted 3rd-seeded Blackwater from contention in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup and propelled the Elasto Painters into the semifinal round opposite powerhouse team San Miguel.
The 25-year old sophomore out of Colegio de San Juan de Letran broke an 83-all deadlock with an 18-footer off Mac Belo to shove the Elasto Painters on top, 85-83, after Belo tied the game with back-to-back treys.
Ray Parks and Greg Smith on missed their respective attempts to preserve the victory for the Caloy Garcia-mentored squad.
Nambatac finished with 21 points, 12 in the pivotal final frame, as the 6th-seeded Rain or Shine won the quarterfinal series 2-1 despite Smith’s bold prediction that the Elite would take games 2 & 3 after losing the series opener.
“Nambatac carried us in this game. Lumalabas talaga yung maturity ni Rey,” said Garcia shortly after the match.
Javee Mocon, who was also instrumental in Rain or Shine’s 4th quarter assault after the team fell down by 8 in the opening minutes of the period, came through with 15 points, 7 boards and 6 assists.
Carl Montgomery added 14 points and 23 rebounds while the veteran Beau Belga chipped in 10 markers to go along with 10 boards and 3 assists.
Parks and Belo paced Blackwater with 16 points apiece while Smith was good for 15 points and 18 rebounds.
Rain or Shine 85 – Nambatac 21, Mocon 15, Montgomery 14, Belga 10, Norwood 7, Ponferada 6, Torres 5, Rosales 4, Borboran 3, Onwubere 0, Alejandro 0.
Blackwater 83 – Parks 16, Belo 16, Smith 15, Maliksi 14, Cortez 10, Digregorio 5, Desiderio 3, Sumang 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Sena 0.
Quarterscores: 23-31, 38-45, 65-69, 85-83.