With Racal falling behind big early in Game 1 of the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Finals, Rey Nambatac admitted the Tile Masters didn’t try hard enough to overcome the deficit.
“We had a bad start and we fell behind early. We had chances to close in, but we lacked the effort to get what we wanted,” Nambatac said after Cignal-San Beda took the 93-85 win on Thursday.
The Tile Masters, though, still put up fight and managed to slash down Cignal’s 21-point deficit with Nambatac leading the late uprising for Racal.
The Letran guard took every chance he could get in the fourth quarter. He eviscerated Davon Potts’ defense then capped it off with a stunning stepback three to cut the lead down to its lowest at five, 86-81, with 2:22 remaining.
“All I want is to win and catch up to their lead. For me, Game 1 is important because whoever wins has a better chance to take the title,” said Nambatac, who finished with 23 points, on a 3-of-7 shooting from three, on top of six rebounds and three assists.
“Knowing Davon, he’s really a great slasher and scorer so I was challenged. Whatever I did was still in our system,”
However, the rally came up short as Cignal buckled down late and secured the win.
Despite being one loss away from letting the title slip away, Nambatac refused to be disheartened and looks forward to atoning for the defeat come Game 2 on Monday.
“The series is still isn’t over. We’ll use this as a motivation and learn from the mistakes we did in this game. There’s still a Game 2 and we still have a chance,” he said.