MANILA, Philippines – With Colegio de San Juan de Letran's Final 4 hopes hanging in the balance Tuesday afternoon, graduating guard Rey Nambatac personally made sure that the Knights' NCAA Season 93 campaign will continue.
Nambatac's follow-up of JP Calvo's missed transition lay-up proved to be the dagger that the Knights needed to finally fend off a gritty College of St. Benilde team, 66-60, and finish the elimination round with an even 9-9 slate.
That win ensured that the Knights will live to fight another day; they take on Arellano University (9-9) in a knockout game on Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
"Una sa lahat, ayaw ko pa magbakasyon," said Nambatac, who scored 6 of his team-high 18 points in the crucial final quarter. "Meron pa akong unfinished business dito sa Letran."
Nambatac was a crucial cog in Letran's celebrated Season 91 team, which ended a 10-year title drought for the school when the Knights defeated bitter rival San Beda in a classic 3-game finals series. But they missed the Final 4 the next season, even as Nambatac did his best to carry the Knights with his superb scoring ability.
Thus, Nambatac is genuinely determined to keep Letran going in Season 93, as he wants to leave the school on a high note before making his way to the PBA.
"First, makapag-final 4," Nambatac said of his "unfinished business" with the squad. "After that, finals and hopefully makuha ulit namin ang championship."
With this in mind, Nambatac said he is not dwelling on the reality that every game he plays from now on is potentially his last game ever for the Knights – including Friday's do-or-die game against the surging Chiefs.
"Hindi ko iniisip na every game, last game ko na. 'Pag pasok ko sa loob ng court, talagang binibigay ko lahat 'yung best effort ko, para sa ikabubuti ng team, at para makuha namin ang panalo," he says.
Nambatac is currently averaging 15.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game for the Knights.
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