Nambatac, Knights now enjoying ‘puro takbuhan’ gameplan

Tricia Robredo on Jul 05, 2015 10:14 AM
Nambatac, Knights now enjoying ‘puro takbuhan’ gameplan
RUN ALL NIGHT. From training to games, Rey Nambatac and Letran never stop running and it has thus far paid off with an impressive 2-0 start to the season.

No pain, no gain.

Being a Letranite since high school, Rey Nambatac has seen and played for his alma mater through both its glory days and dark ages. Last season was particularly tough on him when they failed to make a semifinal appearance in for the first time in years and he said, “Mahirap pala kapag sanay yung puso mo sa Final Four.”

Instead of dwelling on heartbreak, Rey chose to accept, move on, and commit to working harder in the hopes of getting it right this time around.

A few weeks ago during the 2015 Filoil, the Knights shared with ABS-CBN Sports that they were still in a period of adjustment, having to transition from former head coach Caloy Garcia to new mentor Aldin Ayo. “Medyo nahihirapan pa kami sa sistema actually. From offense, balik defense na naman,” said Mark Cruz.

Nambatac added how difficult training has been ever since coach Aldin took charge by saying, “Ensayo namin from 6 AM to 11 AM. Puro takbuhan.” He even joked that he thought about quitting because of how exhausting and grueling he found the program to be.

Although it may not have made sense at the time, he is slowly starting to see the purpose behind the pains.

Letran turned quite a few heads after a stellar performance against last season’s semifinalist Jose Rizal University. They also had a lot of hands clapping because of their full-court pressure which has been the star of their 2-0 start.

Ergo, had they not been prepared to endure all the running for a sustained period of time, things would have been much different. “Naiintindihan ko na rin naman mga pinapagawa sa amin, lalo na na mas defense ang focus namin ngayon. Mukhang maganda ang ilalabas nito sa NCAA,” Nambatac said.

Aside from training, he shared that he also keeps himself conditioned with a technique he learned during his stint in the national youth team. “Kapag game day, hindi talaga ako kumakain nang marami. Kahit yung gabi bago ng laro, hindi na rin. Imagine na lang kung busog ako tapos ginawa ko yung ginawa namin (non-stop full-court pressure). Siguro nasuka na ako,” Nambatac shared.

He then tops off all the effort by always carrying a rosary with him. What he cannot control, he trusts that He would provide.

For the season ahead, Rey Nambatac vows to use all means for Letran’s shot at redemption. Remembering how the sting from last year felt, the Letran Knights are determined not to make the same mistakes again.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @jpgrobredo.

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