Jul 24, 2020

Nambatac, Mocon looking to roll on in smooth transition

FOR two young Rain or Shine stalwarts, going away with the extended league hiatus was an opportunity to sustain the momentum of a successful transition in the last PBA season.

For Rey Nambatac, it's his conversion from a shooting guard to point guard while for Javee Mocon, it's from being a post operator to a wing guy.

"Wala naman kaming magagawa kung hindi maghintay," said Nambatac, ruing inactivity for nearly five months and without a single official game for nearly a year now.

But with their smooth adjustments and transitions from high school basketball to college, to semi pro and all the way to pros, Nambatac and Mocon are confident they could pick up from where they left off.

They said it's more about being in shape and always ready whenever the PBA Commissioner's Office announces the season resumption.

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Before the indefinite league stoppage due to pandemic, Nambatac and Mocon were eagerly awaiting for their Season 45 debut, coming from their solid showing in the previous campaign.

Nambatac was among those noted to have improved big time in Season 44 while Mocon created quite a splash in his freshman year, gaining citation as a member of the All-Rookie Team.

A big key was coping with the transition they had to make.

"Nawala kasi sila Jericho Cruz, Maverick Ahanmisi at Chris Tiu, at kinausap ako ni coach Caloy (Garcia)... 'Rey willing ka bang mag-shift sa point?' Sabi ko kaya ko naman siguro pero bigyan mo ko ng panahon, tulungan mo ko at habaan mo ang pasensya mo," said Nambatac, a prolific scorer as two-guard from high school to college at Letran.

"Di madali. Imagine haharapin mo ang pressure defense ng mga gaya nila Chris Ross, Jio Jalalon at Mark Barroca," added Nambatac on Sports On Air webcast of Miguel La Torre and CD Argarin.

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Going through the same was Mocon.

But anticipating he would be undersized playing No. 4 spot in the pros just at 6-foot-3, Mocon tried to learn to shoot from the outside towards the end of his collegiate career.

"Di madali because I'd been playing big all my high school and college days," said the four-time NCAA champ from San Beda.

But with his nose to get the rebounds, Mocon still got the caroms that went with his new weapons - perimeter shooting and, when the opportunity presented, the treys.

"I just looked back paano ko nakarating sa PBA - getting the rebounds and doing hustle plays. Yun naman talaga ang laro ko; dinagdagan ko na lang ang skills ko para maging effective sa PBA," he said.

Nambatac and Mocon worked extra hard to add new facets in their games.

"Ayoko kasing parte lang ako ng team pero not part of the rotation," said Nambatac.

Mocon had the same to say. (SB)