SECOND chances don’t come often, so when it does, you better grab it.
That’s the mindset of Frank Bonifacio, who is a step closer to receiving his at Barangay Ginebra after failing to make the most od it the first time around.
Traded along with Denice Villamor to Mahindra for Paolo Taha last November before the start of the PBA season, the sophomore wingman has been back with the Gin Kings in his old role as a practice player since last month.
Bonifacio was just glad coach Tim Cone welcomed him back even after the champion coach traded him for his own good.
“He honestly didn’t want me to come back because he wanted me to ‘spread my wings,’ so I did what he told me,” the 26-year-old cager said in a chat with SPIN.ph. “I accepted it and I tried to do it the best I can, looking for other teams, but unfortunately, nothing worked out.”
Asked why it didn’t work out with Mahindra, Bonifacio shook his head.
“I have no idea,” he said bluntly, adding he attended practice at the Floodbuster’s training facility in Bicutan for a month but never got an offer. “I don’t want to go into detail, because I don’t know the real story, but I never signed a contract. I was there, gave it my all, showed up early when I could, but it just didn’t work out.”
“I have nothing against them,” he added. “I’m not going to use them as motivation. Things happen for a reason.”
“(But) I don’t want to go down like this,” the athletic 6-foot-2 defender and Slam Dunk Contest participant continued.
So Bonifacio went to try his luck again with Cone, who took him in as a practice player starting at Purefoods after going undrafted in the 2014 Draft.
“It’s fortunate that he’s there to give me a chance, at least, to keep on playing,” the California-raised, full-blooded Filipino cager said. “I’m thankful for him.”
Finally cracking the Gin Kings’ roster in the Governors’ Cup, Bonifacio looked like a freeloader in the team’s run to the title.
“I understand that the conference I played, I didn’t live up to the potential,” he admitted. “I kind of used it as, ‘Oh, I’m just happy to be here.’ When my opportunity came, I kind of took it for granted.”
“But now, I learned from my mistakes,” he added. “I’m happy to have another chance and if I get that opportunity again, it’s not going to be the same mentality.”
For now, Bonifacio continues to help whip the team into shape in its quest for back-to-back titles.
“I’m just happy to be back with these guys and I treat these guys like family, and I’ll do whatever I can to get these guys better, and get the team better, and hopefully win another championship,” he said.