REY Nambatac nailed a desperation three-point shot with 13 seconds left as Rain or Shine brought down defending champion San Miguel Beer, 87-83, in another exciting action in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City.
Nambatac missed his first six attempts from the floor but came through with the biggest shot of the night — a dagger 3 — with the shot clock running out and Rain or Shine barely ahead, 82-81.
A jumper by Terrence Romeo and two free throws by Javee Mocon finalized the score.
Nambatac’s basket helped Rain or Shine escape with a morale-boosting victory after nearly blowing a commanding 16-point advantage.
Mocon finished with 25 points, including 3-of-5 from the three-point area.
Kris Rosales added 15 points and Beau Belga contributed 12 points depsite playing in foul trouble.
Marcio Lassiter carried the fight for San Miguel with 20 points, including five triples, while Alex Cabagnot added 18 points.
Mo Tautuaa stepped up in the absence of PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Romeo had 11 points, including a three-pointer that put the Beermen to within 81-82 with still 27 seconds remaining.
Action continues Wednesday with Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok and NLEX each hoping to barge into the win column in their 6:45 p.m. encounter.
Magnolia lost to San Miguel, 78-94, last March 8, or three days before the PBA was forced to shut down due to the pandemic.
NLEX, on the other hand, fell to Barangay Ginebra, 92-102, during the restart last Sunday.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero and NLEX mentor Yeng Guiao both hope to do better this time.
“Kasi ‘yung preparation dito (bubble) is very limited at sabay-sabay kaming nag-umpisa,” explained Victolero.
“”Kaya siguro ‘yung unang game nila hindi ganoon ang kanilang rhythm.We expect na much better ‘yung lalaruin nila kaysa noong Sunday.”
Said Guiao: “We should be at our best by Wednesday. That 0-1 record of theirs should not really take anything away from how good that team is. They have a lot of guards in Paul (Lee), Mark Barroca), (Chris) Banchero who can be problematic for us.”
Meralco and Alaska Milk clash in the 4 p.m. opener.
Both teams are hoping to get back into the winning track after dropping their opening-day assignments.
The Aces failed to sustain a strong start and staggered under the weight of the 73-point combined haul of RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro in a 95-100 loss to the TNT Tropang Giga in the bubble play opener.
The Bolts,were also visibly off in a 98-116 rout by the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters on the next day.
Rain or Shine (87) – Mocon 25, Rosales 15, Belga 12, Borboran 9, Ponferada 7, Onwubere 6, Nambatac 4, Torres 4, Norwood 3, Doliguez 2, Wong 0, Yap 0. San Miguel (83) – Lassiter 20, Cabagnot 18, Tautuaa 17, Romeo 11, Gamalinda 5, Ross 4, Mamaril 3, Santos 2, Escoto 2, Pessumal 1, De Guzman 0, Zamar 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20, 46-41, 67-54, 87-83.
(Angeles University Sports Arena)
4 p.m. — Meralco vs Alaska
6:45 p.m. — Magnolia vs. NLEX