Cruz on Nambatac: ‘Naaamoy namin isa’t-isa’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 16, 2015 03:55 PM
PARTNERS IN CRIME. Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac do not need words to communicate what one wants from the other.
Colegio de San Juan de Letran was headed for collapse at the end of the first round of the NCAA 91 Men's Basketball Tournament with what was once a double-digit halftime lead turning into a five-point deficit in the last five minutes.
In danger of suffering their first losing streak in the season, the Knights turned to its dynamic duo to lead the charge to victory. Fancying themselves as the best backcourt in the league, Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac did not disappoint in their chance to add another feather to their caps.
The dynamic duo outscored all of their opponents, 15-7, in the endgame to propel Letran to 8-1 and a first-place finish in the first round. Nambatac had 11 of those – two triples of which were courtesy of passes from Cruz.
Talking about their partnership, the fifth-year lead guard told ABS-CBN Sports, “Eye contact lang kailangan namin. Naaamoy namin isa’t-isa.” Their partnership has proven to be so strong that not only did it overcome the threat of a losing streak, but also an injury that is yet to heal.
Asked about the off-guard who caught fire in the endgame, head coach Aldin Ayo told reporters, “Hindi pa nga 100 percent yan e. Ayala ko, hindi makakpglaro, but that's just Rey Nambatac.” Nambatac sustained a left ankle sprain during a practice session a week ago.
While his foot was far from 100 percent, the third-year gunner said he already knew he would make his shots in the endgame and told his teammates that he was taking over. “Kinausap ko na sila Mark at Mcjour (Luib), sabi ko hanapin niyo na ako kasi nakukuha ko na rhythm ko,” he shared with ABS-CBN Sports.
He continued, “Alam ko nang 90 percent na masu-shoot ko na kasi confident na ako na nakukuha na rhythm ko.”
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