Guiao keeps faith on Nambatac

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is hardly bothered by the ice-cold performance of Ray Nambatac in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.

Nambatac, the top gunner of the Elasto Painters, has been suffering a decline in his performance in his first three games under Guiao.

The lefty swingman from Letran College averaged a dismal 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and four assists per game, norms that are way below his 14 points, five rebounds and three assists averages per game in the previous Philippine Cup.

But Guiao is not worried, knowing that it’s just a matter of time before Nambatac finally explodes.

In fact, the seasoned tactician compared Nambatac’s struggle to what Calvin Oftana had last year when he couldn’t get his game going for NLEX a year after emerging as Most Valuable Player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.


Like Calvin, I know Rey’s game will eventually come to him.


“The struggling situation is similar, but different in such a way that Calvin had to adjust his game when I was still coaching NLEX,” said Guiao, who has a reputation of turning role players into stars.

“On the other hand, with Rain or Shine, I’m the one who needs to adjust to Rey because he’s already playing for a few years and I just rejoined the team, so this is my first time handling him.”

But Guiao — the only mentor to lead the Elasto Painters to a pair of PBA titles — believes that it’s just a matter of time before Nambatac could regain his groove.

“Like Calvin, I know Rey’s game will eventually come to him,” Guiao added.

“He’s not forcing it. In fact, Rey is such a great decoy that he makes everybody involved, that’s why we won two in a row. We won because of the contributions of everyone and Rey played a big role for that as he was attracting the defense and locating his teammates for good shots. His assists would have gone higher had the other players been able to hit the open shots.”

Despite Nambatac’s struggle, the Elasto Painters have been fluid, winning two of their first three matches behind a balance production bannered by import Steve Taylor, who has been averaging 20.6 points. 15.3 rebounds and four assists per contest.

Aside from Taylor, Andrei Caracut is also posting solid numbers of 10 points per game with 31 percent from the three-point area while Leonard Santillan averages nine points and close to four rebounds per outing.

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