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"Rookie again" Cardona relishes PBA comeback after tumultuous events last year

PBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--"Captain Hook" is back in the PBA!

After a whirlwind turn of events last year, Mac-Mac Cardona made his way back to the pros on Sunday night, suiting up for GlobalPort in their Governors' Cup match against NLEX at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"Sobrang happy ko na nakapaglaro uli ako ng basketball. Di ko in-expect na makakabalik ako sa PBA since noong nangyari sa akin last year. Di ko alam na may kukuha pa sa akin. Thankful ako kay Coach Franz, Boss Mikee Romero, at Erick Arejola na binigyan ako ng pagkakataon para mapakita ko na kaya ko pang maglaro," Cardona told the media after the game.

Cardona, the fifth pick of the 2005 Draft, even said that he felt like it's the 2006 season all over again.

"Parang rookie ang pakiramdam ko. Di ko alam kung ano ang itsura ko sa court," he shared his comeback game feeling.

Cardona made four points and two rebounds in barely eight minutes off the bench for the Batang Pier interestingly against the team where he last played for prior to his personal debacle, the Road Warriors.

Speaking of the personal debacle, the former De La Salle King Archer interestingly got some help from a former Ateneo Blue Eagle to begin his road to bounce back.

"Ang mentor ko sa simbahan ay si Paul Tan-Chi. Di ko ine-expect na siya ang magiging adviser ko sa Panginoon," Cardona bared.

Tan-Chi, who played for Ateneo during the turn of the millennium, is currently a pastor of CCF, an evangelical church his father Peter founded.

On the other hand, Cardona did not mind that GlobalPort lost to NLEX as he finds the smiles of the PBA fans upon his comeback already a victory for him.

"Basta happy ako na nakikita ko yung mga tao sa PBA na masaya sila na naglalaro na uli ako. Nagpapasalamat ako sa support ng mga fans. Kung hindi dahil sa support nila, siguro wala yung drive ko na bumalik sa PBA," he expressed his gratitude.

Now, Cardona now looks at what lies ahead of him.

"Naka-move on na ako sa lahat. I'm moving forward," he said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno