Mac Cardona thankful for second PBA life

Published September 5, 2017, 8:12 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

by Ernest Hernandez

Mac Mac Cardona (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
Mac Mac Cardona
(MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
Mark “Mac” Cardona officially returned to the PBA, almost a year after a reported drug overdose in an attempted suicide. The former DLSU star suited up for the GlobalPort Batang Pier against the NLEX Road Warriors.

“Sobrang happy ko na nakapag-laro ulit ako ng basketball. Hindi ko ine-expect na makakabalik sa PBA since noong nangyari sa akin last year,” Cardona said.

Cardona started his comeback trail when he played for Zark’s Burger in the PBA D-League.

“It was a sign. Tumawag sa akin yung isang owner na maglaro doon,” Cardona recalled. “Baka eto yung sign ni Lord na bumalik ako sa basketball.”

His hard work paid off as his former college coach in DLSU and current GlobalPort head coach Franz Pumaren picked him up from the amateur ranks.

“Hindi ko alam na may kukuha pa sa akin. Thank you ako kay Coach Franz, thankful ako kay Mikee Romero, kay Erik Arejola na binigyan ako ng pagkakataon para mapakita ko yung kaya ko pa maglaro,” he added.

In his PBA return, Cardona scored his first basket in the second quarter and celebrated by pointing up in the sky and thumping his chest.

“Kini-kilabutan nga ako ngayon. Parang feeling ko nasa UAAP ulita ko. Parang yung nawala ako ng isang taon, nakapagpahinga ako at least. Tapos pagkabalik ko, excited na excited ulit ako maglaro.”

Captain Hook played a total of 8 minutes to finish the game with 4 points in 4 attempts together with 2 rebounds.

“Kung ano man nangyari sa akin in the past, alam ko may pagkakamali ako doon. For me, move on na lang. Kasi wala na ako magagawa,” says Cardona.

In his return, he credits former UAAP rival from Ateneo Paul Tanchi for his spiritual healing and helping him to move on in life.

“Hindi ko ine-expect na magiging adviser ko pagdating sa itaas, sa Panginoon,” said Cardona on Tanchi. “Naka-move on na ako sa lahat. Looking forward. Basta nagdadasal na lang ako at nagsisimba ako.“

His GlobalPort teammates made Cardona’s return to the pros easier giving him the added morale boost.

“They are happy to see bumalik ako. Lalo na si Terrence (Romeo) sinasabi ‘kaya mo pa ‘yan. Nandito lang kami para sa iyo. Tutulungan ka namin.’Sina Mike (Cortez), si Ryan (Arana)… especially si Ryan sinabi ko sa kanya kung pwede niya ako tulungan kay coach Franz.”

“Gusto lang nila maayos ang buhay ko. Gusto nila maayos ang isip ko. Gusto niya na maging normal ulit akong player. Gusto niya makabangon ulit ako at makalaro ulit sa PBA.”

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