MANILA, Philippines -- Rain or Shine guard Rey Nambatac was quick to make an impression in the opening week of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
Nambatac anchored the Elasto Painters' 2-0 start to the conference, which put them at joint first together with the Meralco Bolts.
The former Colegio de San Juan de Letran ace averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in their two games over NLEX and Blackwater, earning him the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation after the opening week.
Nambatac scored 19 points and grabbed eight boards in their slim 83-82 victory over the Road Warriors, then had a 21-point, 12-rebound double-double in a more comfortable 72-61 triumph over the Bossing.
He bested new Meralco forward Mac Belo (17.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg) for the weekly citation being handed out by members of the media covering the PBA beat.
Rain or Shine coach Chris Gavina commended Nambatac for embracing the challenge that he made to the young guard.
"I've talked to Rey that he needs to take that role for us, kind of like Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker or Milwaukee Bucks' Jrue Holiday and he embraced it," said Gavina on the 7th overall pick of the 2017 draft.
"He loves the pressure. He's built for it. He has grown and developed, and his confidence has come a long way. I think he knows now that he is starting to separate himself in regards to being able to take over a game and he likes it."
"I'm hoping that he can continue that mindset as we move forward," concluded Gavina.