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    Extra rice the key as lanky Marion Magat looks to repay Guiao trust

    Jan 20, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    MARION Magat felt like starting all over again.

    And given a new lease on life in his PBA career, the lanky big man is making sure he makes the most out of the opportunity.

    Magat sustained his fine start to the new season after coming through with another solid showing for NLEX on Sunday night in the Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    The former Alaska center finished with eight points and eight rebounds in 13 minutes of play, though the Road Warriors lost for the second straight game, this time at the hands of NorthPort, 95-90.

    Still, Magat was among the few bright spots for the Road Warriors.

    “Sa akin, back to zero ako. Yung laro ko, yung pagkilos ko sa court,” he said after the game. “Parang rookie ba, bumalik ako sa rookie.”

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    Magat played three uneventful seasons with Alaska, which picked him in the second round of the 2015 draft, before being released just before the start of the league’s 44th season.

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    The native of Dagupan, Pangasinan said he has no ill feelings toward his former ballclub, where he admitted learning a lot not only inside the court but outside of it, too.

    “Marami akong natutunan sa Alaska,” he said.

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    Magat did feel however, he has already worn out his welcome with the Aces.

    “Alam ko naman. Tsaka alam din nila na di na nila ko mabibigyan ng playing time dahil nga andun sina Vic (Manuel), sina kuya Sonny (Thoss), andun pa sina CBC (Carl Bryan Cruz). Maganda pa nilalaro ni Jake Pascual at ni Noy (Baclao). Pero naisip-isip ko rin na okay din sa akin na ni-release nila ako,” he said.

    There were other interested teams which invited him for a series of tryouts, but it was with NLEX that he eventually settled down.

    He’s only grateful that NLEX management and coach Yeng Guiao had given him a second chance.

    “Tinitingnan kong malaking bagay na binibigyan ako ng playing time ni coach,” he said. “Sa kanya naman, sabi nya sa akin wag daw ako magdalawang isip tumira. Basta libre, itira ko lang daw.”

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    The breaks being given him by Guiao however, has a corresponding trade-off.

    He must bulk up.

    “Kailangan ko kumain ng bakal ngayon para yun, para lumaki katawan (ko),” he said with a grin. “Extra rice na rin ako. Mag-e-extra rice na rin ako palagi.”

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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