Rain or Shine playmaker Rey Nambatac believes the addition of newly-acquired forward Mac Belo will bring the much-needed veteran presence and versatility for the Elasto Painters to get to the next level heading to the PBA’s 48th season.
The Elasto Painters led by as many as 24 points, before weathering a furious late-game rally to subdue the San Miguel Beermen, 100-98 last Wednesday in their PBA On Tour match.
The 29-year-old Nambatac scored just seven points and took only six attempts, an unusual stats line for the former NCAA men’s basketball champion, who’s been a noted scorer since his amateur days.
But he’s got his reasons for that.
“When I was on the same floor with him (Belo), what I did was, every time I try to pass the ball to Mac so he could get his confidence back. I’d tell him top set a screen for me because the defense tends to collapse on me, which will leave him open,” Namtabac said in Filipino in a chat with the Manila Times.
The 6-foot-4 Belo scored five points, grabbed four rebounds and issued two assists in his preseason debut for his new team after being traded by Meralco in exchange for big man Norbert Torres.
The sweet-shooting Nambatac is convinced that Belo will get his rhythm in due time, and that is something he’s excited to see down the road.
“We all know what Mac can do in the game. He just lost his confidence (to play). But with Mac as a stretch 4, he can do both offense and defense, plus he’s for the shooting that perfectly fits the team,” explained Nambatac, a gold medalist in the 2012 SEABA under-18 championship.
“I also took less shots (against San Miguel) because I want to involve my teammates and let them gain the confidence as well as we build for the coming season,” he said. “We want to fully achieve our objective (for the PBA On Tour).”
Rain or Shine now carries a pristine 3-0 record in the exhibition series and will be gunning for a fourth straight win come Sunday when the team goes up against Terrafirma at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Elasto Painters are using the preseason games as a way to build team up as they look to end their seven-year title drought when the new PBA season kicks off on Oct. 15.
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