Cardona makes PBA return with GlobalPort: ‘I feel like a rookie again’
Mac Cardona quest to make it back to the PBA has ended with GlobalPort on Sunday.
Falling on hard times last year, the 35-year-old Cardona was able to pick up the pieces and he feels rejuvenated after being given a second chance.
“I feel like a rookie again,” quipped Cardona. “I don’t remember how the court looks. I’m just happy that I made it back to the PBA and the people saw me playing again.”
But it’s not just the fans, but also his new Batang Pier teammates, who welcomed him with open arms.
“They’re happy to see me back, especially Terrence (Romeo). He was telling me that I still got it, that they’re there for me. The same goes for Mike (Cortez) and Ryan (Araña),” he said.
“I’m just happy to get back. I didn’t expect that I’ll still be able to play in the PBA after all that happened to me last year. So I’m thankful for coach Franz (Pumaren), boss Mikee Romero, and boss Erick Arejola because they gave me a chance that I can still play.”
The former La Salle standout didn’t deny that he felt overwhelmed with his return.
“I feel goosebumps that it’s like I’m back in the UAAP. When I was gone for almost a year, I was able to rest and I felt excited to play again,” said Cardona, who had four points and two rebounds in eight minutes of action.
Cardona’s journey back into the PBA started in the PBA D-League where newcomer Zark’s Burger signed him up to play a couple of games in the 2017 Foundation Cup.
“It was like a sign from the Lord that when they called me to play in the D-League, I still can make it back playing basketball,” he said.
It didn’t take long the opportunity for a PBA return came knocking and it was his former college coach at La Salle in Franz Pumaren, who gave him the shot in his road to redemption.
Even if his return ended in a 99-109 defeat to NLEX, which ironically, is the previous PBA team he played for before a drug overdose in an apparent suicide attempt nearly ended his life, Cardona remains grateful for his new beginning, sharing that he has already moved past that dark chapter and is now hoping to live his life to the fullest.
“Whatever happened to me in the past — I know I’ve made mistakes — but I tried to move on because I can no longer take those back. I’m just grateful for all the support that I got because if not for them, I wouldn’t have had my drive to get back here. I’m moving forward,” he said.
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