Nambatac, RoS duel with SMB in Oro on Saturday

Rain or Shine guard Rey Nambatac in action. (Contributed photo)

JIO Jalalon wowed hometown fans in the last Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) game in Cagayan de Oro during the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.

Jalalon shone brightly in the fourth quarter as he scored 11 in Magnolia’s blazing 16-4 binge that set the tone for the Hotshots’ 92-86 win over the Meralco Bolts in just the third-year season of the small but feisty guard from the City of Gold.

On Saturday, July 13, another Kagay-anon in rising Rain or Shine (RoS) guard Rey Nambatac Jr. will have the chance to put a show before the home crowd when the RoS Elasto Painters battle San Miguel Beer at the Xavier University gym.

Nambatac hit a career-high 30 points, laced with 7 of 11 conversion from the 3-point arc, in the Painters’ blowout 104-81 conquest of Barangay Ginebra in the mid-season PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

“Memorable kaayo ‘to nga pagdaug ug sa iyang pag-step up kay Ginebra ilang kontra. Ampo lang gyod nga mag-tuloy tuloy ang maayong dagan sa iyang career,” Kuya Rey Nambatac Sr., himself a former basketball standout, said.

The feat has catapulted the 25-year-old former Letran stalwart to besting eight other candidates then for the morale-boosting citation “PBA’s Player of the Week” handed out by the men and women covering the PBA beat.

It would be a tough challenge, however, for Nambatac and company to hurdle the Beermen come Saturday night as the multi-titled SMB just came from back-to-back triumphs with its import Chris McCullough erupting for 47 and 37 points, respectively.

The Beermen moved up to seventh at 4-5 while the Fuel Masters relegated to joint eighth with the Alaska Milk Aces at 4-6.

San Miguel chases an outright quarters entry in playing its last two games against Rain or Shine in a Petron Blaze Saturday Special in Cagayan de Oro and against Meralco at the close of the eliminations on July 17 at the Big Dome.

“Underdog silang Nambatac ani nga match kay na-injured ilang saligando nga import,” said one local avid PBA fan, referring to Denzel Bowles who was ruled out due to knee injury.

Bowles (28.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game) had been replaced by the sixth-running E-Painters (4-5) by Carl Montgomery, who at 6-foot-8 tall can be a big help on the defensive end.


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