Nambatac delivers as Blackwater survives Meralco in PBA opener

Posted by watchmen
March 1, 2024
Posted in SPORTS
Rey Nambatac steers Blackwater Bossing to a close win over the Meralco Bolts. (PBA photo)
Rey Nambatac steers Blackwater Bossing to a close win over the Meralco Bolts. (PBA photo)


Rey Nambatac had a solid debut for the Blackwater Bossing as they escaped with a 96-93 victory over the Meralco Bolts in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City on Wednesday night, February 28.

After leading by as much as 19 points early in the fourth quarter, the Bossing were stunned to see their lead cut to 94-93 behind the hot shooting of Bolts winger Allein Maliksi.

Nambatac then converted two free throws to increase Blackwater’s lead to 96-93 with 19 seconds left. 

Meralco still had a chance to tie the score, but Maliksi missed on his final three-point attempt.

Nambatac finished with 27 points, including 12-of-12 free throw shooting, to go with a career-high 10 assists and five rebounds as the Bossing kicked off their campaign on a winning note.

Jeth Troy Rosario added 15 markers, Rey Suerte and Tyrus Hill contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Negrense James Yap made his Blackwater debut with five points and one rebound.

Meanwhile, Calvin Oftana took over the scoring for the TNT Tropang Giga in the endgame to score a 108-107 escape over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and tie the Bossing at 1-0.

Down 99-104 with over three minutes left, the Tropang Giga got a layup from Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and two free throws from Jayson Castro to cut the deficit to 103-104 with two minutes left.

Oftana then connected on a three-pointer to give the Tropang Giga their first lead in the second half at 106-104 before he converted a layup to widen the advantage to 108-104 with less than a minute left.

Painters’ Andrei Caracut then split his free throws to cut the deficit to 105-108 before they regained the possession, but instead of attempting a three-pointer to force a deadlock, Jhonard Clarito opted for a layup to cut the deficit to one.

Oftana finished with a double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds, Roger Pogoy and Kim Aurin added 22 and 21 markers, respectively, while Ganuelas-Rosser chipped in a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds./ASC, WDJ


BLACKWATER 96 — Nambatac 27, Rosario 15, Suerte 11, Hill 10, DiGregorio 9, David 7, Escoto 6, Guinto 5, Yap 5, Jopia 1, Ilagan 0, Kwekuteye 0, Sena 0.

MERALCO 93 — Maliksi 27, Newsome 16, Jose 10, Mendoza 10, Black 10, Hodge 6, Banchero 5, Quinto 3, Bates 3, Torres 3, Caram 0, Pasaol 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 18-26, 43-41, 72-62, 96-93.


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