MANILA, Philippines – Rey Nambatac is determined to live up to expectations after he signed a three-year contract with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
That he signed for nearly the maximum was a surprise to the former Colegio de San Juan de Letran guard, who admitted that he only expected a two-year deal.
"Sobrang nakaka-overwhelm," Nambatac revealed on Tuesday after the Elasto Painters' preseason game against NLEX at the Upper Deck Sports Center in Pasig City.
"Ine-expect lang namin ng agent ko, bibigyan lang kami ng two years. Noong nandoon kami sa office ng Rain or Shine, nagulat kami kasi three years 'yung ibinigay sa akin," he added.
For Nambatac, this was a sign that the team has placed its trust in him, while at the same time expecting that he can help the squad in their quest to become a top contender again in the PBA.
The lefty guard, who was taken with the seventh pick in the recent PBA Rookie Draft, is determined to prove that the Rain or Shine organization was right to put its trust in him.
"For me, 'di ko sasayangin 'yung opportunity na binigay sa akin ng Rain or Shine," vowed Nambatac, who helped Letran win a title in the NCAA before establishing himself as one of the craftiest scorers in the college ranks.
"Gagawin ko 'yung best ko para maipakita na deserving akong ma-pick ng Rain or Shine na seventh overall," he added. "Alam ko naman na darating 'yung panahon na makukuha ko 'yung gusto kong playing time."
Already, the Rain or Shine coaching staff are expecting more from Nambatac, especially with some of their top guards – including Jericho Cruz – still out due to injury. After Tuesday's preseason game, where Nambatac scored only two points, head coach Caloy Garcia said his rookie needs to show consistency.
"The last two games, prior to this pocket tournament, he was scoring in double digits," said Garcia. "But this tournament, medyo naninibago siya, because I think there's more competition now."
"But I don't think it's going to be a big adjustment for him," the coach added.
Nambatac, for his part, is ready to take on the challenge.
"Ito 'yung chance ko talaga na 'yung matagal ko na gustong gawin na ibalik ko – 'yung pagiging offensive player ko, pero at the same time, andoon pa rin 'yung depensa ko," he said.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)