Mac Cardona is glad to be back in the PBA by way of suiting up for the Zamboanga Valientes in the newly-formed 3×3 tournament which starts on Nov. 20 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Cardona expressed gratitude to the Valientes management for the opportunity to take part in the halfcourt event despite dealing with offcourt issues since playing his last PBA game in 2017.
“There’s a lot of people who didn’t give up on me,” Cardona said in the PBA 3×3’s media day held Saturday, Nov. 13 also at Ynares. “Kung anu yung mga ups and down ko sa buhay, parang hindi nila tinitignan yun.”
Zamboanga took a chance at Cardona for the Mindanao Leg of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup earlier this year and averaged 8.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in five games.
That stint opened another opportunity for Cardona as Zamboanga became one of the non-PBA member ballclubs to take part in the 3×3 tourney.
“Very thankful ako, so blessed pa rin na despite ng mga nangyari sa buhay ko, nandito pa rin ako,” said the former La Salle star and five-time PBA All-Star who turned 40 on the day of the 3×3 launch.
He’ll see one familiar face in the 3×3 tournament in former UAAP rival Larry Fonacier, who will don the uniform of the Cavitex Braves.
Their teams were not drawn to different groups, but Cardona is looking forward to eventually facing his former Ateneo rival during the course of the season.
“Masaya lang na makakalaro ko ulit si Larry,” he said. “Kahit yung days namin na talagang competitive kami, kahit yung glory days namin makikita nila yung matchup na yun.”
The Valientes will play in Pool A of the first leg along with Cardona’s ex-PBA team TNT Tropang Giga, Limitless Appmasters, Purefoods TJ Titans and Pioneer Pro Tibay.