MANILA, Philippines—Mac Cardona came in against GlobalPort averaging just 2.5 points with a combined two-of-15 shooting from the floor in his last two games – both times Meralco lost.
Cardona came off the bench and played only four minutes in the first quarter, had one rebound and an assist but did not take single shot. That brief stay on the floor though, was far from any indication of the kind of game he would have.
And it didn’t take long for Cardona to get into the thick of things as he poured half of his season-high 30 points in the second quarter.
“Urgent na kasi. Kailangan na kailangan na kasi. Ang sama ng laro ko the past few games,” Cardona admitted. “Pasalamat din ako sa teammates ko and nandyan sila coach para tulungan ako.”
“People were expecting that Mac-mac will get a toungue-lashing, but I exactly did the opposite. I think when your players are struggling, that’s the best situation for you to step in as a coach and help out,” said Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio.
“I just told him to calm down and don’t do things that are pretty much outside of his comfort level and just play basketball the same way as how you played it when you were in grade school just have so much fun and things will fall into their proper place.”
Eric Dawson, who unleashed 37 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, had been Meralco’s consistent source of offense but what was lacking in the Bolts’ past games was that second guy to back him up and Cardona ably stepped into that niche.
“Our import Eric Dawson is really good but in spite of his talent and his greatness he cannot do it by his lonesome. so we had a Mac Cardona who did a tremendous job offensively,” Gregorio added, after his team’s 103-92 win Wednesday night to stop a two-game losing skid.