Gone are the days when Rey Nambatac will practically do everything to carry Rain or Shine to victory.
He would score more, take the last shot, play defense, grab some rebounds and set up his teammates.
Under new coach Yeng Guiao, the star player out of Letran College will have to share some duties to his teammates to become a more effective player.
Last year, Nambatac enjoyed his finest season, emerging as the Elasto Painters’ top gun, averaging 16.7 points per game in the Governors’ Cup, but they failed to advance to the playoffs.
With Guiao at the helm of the Elasto Painters, Nambatac will have to do less scoring, but less scoring means more productivity as he can do other things to make his teammates look better.
His scoring output was reduced, but still decent enough for a star player.
He is averaging 12 points per game, but there are several facets of his game that has definitely improved, including rebounding and assists.
Nambatac has been averaging four rebounds per game and that’s quite impressive for a guard to pull down such number of boards in a tournament which highlights imports as tall as 6-foot-10.
But the most notable improvement was his playmaking. He’s been averaging a career-best average 4.1 assists per game as Nambatac has definitely become more of a facilitator than being a scorer.
Such trait was likewise seen on Matthew Wright, who previously served as the top gun of Phoenix.
For the most part of his PBA career, Wright has been the go-to-guy on offense for the Fuel Masters, even becoming a candidate for the Most Valuable Player award, but outside of his scoring, he’s become the team’s top playmaker until he left the franchise to embark a career playing in the Japanese B. League for the Kyoto Hannaryz.
Nambatac is beginning to embrace this new role and he is more than willing to share the wealth as he was able to bring the best out of rookie Gian Mamuyac and fellow young players Leonard Santillan, Mike Nieto, Andrei Caracut and Anton Asistio.
This is exactly what Guiao wanted and these new breed of young players are going to carry on the tradition this once proud team has started.
It all begins with Nambatac.
The Elasto Painters are still trying to get as many wins as they can, avoiding the prospect of losing back-to-back games to stay in contention for a playoff berth.
It appears that the local players are responding, but the import will have to do his part.
But that’s another story.