By Jerome Lagunzad
Rain or Shine secured its loaded backcourt by signing incoming rookie Rey Nambatac and veteran Chris Tiu to a pair of fresh deals recently as the Elasto Painters gear up for the Philippine Cup that kicks off the pro league’s 43rd season on Dec. 17.
The 6-foot-1 Nambatac, the seventh overall pick in the recent pro league rookie draft, agreed to a three-year pact while the 5-foot-11 Tiu signed a one-year extension.
The financial details of both contracts, however, were undisclosed.
Considered as one of the finest collegiate scorers, Nambatac, 23, is set to reunite with Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia, who personally recruited him to join the Letran Knights after a stellar showing with the Squires in the NCAA juniors division.
“He is a good scorer,” said Garcia of the proud Cagayan de Oro City, who averaged 16.2 points on top of 8.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists during his final stint with Letran in NCAA Season 93 that ended with a whimper after a painful loss to host San Sebastian in their knockout battle nearly two weeks ago.
“He improved every year in Letran. We see a good upside on his game,” he added.
Garcia, however, knows Nambatac, with his lean frame, should “bulk up a little and learn to play the point (guard position)” since he’ll be going up against taller and heftier counterparts.