Comebacking player Mac Cardona admitted that he felt “like a rookie” when he stepped onto the PBA court for the first time in over a year.
“The Captain Hook” made his PBA return on Sunday, scoring four points and two rebounds in eight minutes of play for the GlobalPort Batang Pier in a 109-99 Oppo Governors’ Cup loss to the NLEX Road Warriors.
“Kinikilabutan nga ako ngayon feeling ko parang nasa UAAP ulit ako,” the former La Salle star said. “Nawala man ako ng isang taon, nakapagpahinga ako tapos ngayong pagbalik ko excited na excited ako ulit maglaro.
“Parang rookie ulit yung pakiramdam ko. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang itsura ko sa court basta masaya lang ulit ako na nakabalik.”
The former BPC and Finals MVP winner was hospitalized last year due to drug overdose. After taking time off basketball, he resurfaced last July in a short stint with Zark’s Burgers in the PBA D-League.
He then got a shot at a PBA return thanks to GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren, his former mentor at La Salle.
“Si Coach Franz parang tatay-tatayan ko na yan. Nung binisita niya ako sa hospital dati sinabihan niya ako, kapag ready ka na ulit mag-basketball sabihin mo lang sa akin,” Cardona said.
“After ng nangyari sa akin last year, di ko inexpect na may kukuha pa sa akin.”
Cardona said he isn’t looking at his past anymore: “Naka-move on na ako sa lahat. Looking forward. Nagdadasal na lang ako.”
He also revealed that his former collegiate rival Paul Tanchi who once played for the Ateneo Blue Eagles is now helping him pick up the pieces and move forward.
“Ang mentor ko sa simbahan si Paul Tanchi. Hindi ko ini-expect na siya yung magiging adviser ko,” added Cardona.