MAC Cardona’s stay at Globalport – and his PBA stint as well – proved to be short lived.
The comebacking guard had been left out of the Batang Pier final 15-man lineup for the 43rd season of the PBA as the team opted to build a roster based on youth and speed under returning coach Pido Jarencio.
Team insider confirmed to SPIN.ph that Cardona indeed, hasn’t been renewed by management following his brief comeback in the league through the Batang Pier in the season-ending Governors Cup.
But team owner Mikee Romero later explained this season the thrust is geared towards assembling a young team that can run and shoot, adding his present team has an average age of 27 years old.
The party list congressman pointed out only three of Globalport’s players are 30 and above, while eight of them are all below 26-years-old. As it is, Ryan Arana (33) is the oldest among the Batang Pier players, followed by Sean Anthony (31), and Stanley Pringle (30).
This also explained while the team also didn’t renew veterans such as Mike Cortez (37), Billy Mamaril (37), Paolo Hubalde (36), Mac Baracael (32), Rico Maierhofer (32), along with Cardona, who is already 36.
For Cardona, the brief comeback was good while it lasted.
After almost a year of hibernation following his much-publicized drug overuse in an apparent suicide attempt, ‘Captain Hook’ got a new lease on his playing career when the Batang Pier decided to have a second look at him and signed for a one conference contract.
The short deal paved the way for his reunion at Globalport with college coach Franz Pumaren and teammates Arana and Cortez.
While not really in tip-top shape, Cardona at times showed some of the moves that once made him one of the league’s top scorers, who went on to win a championship with TnT Katropa, a Finals MVP, a Best Player of the Conference, a Mythical First Team, and a five-time All-Star.
Pumaren also made clear Cardona’s hiring wasn’t made out of sympathy for the former La Salle stalwart.
“Basketball fans might think that it’s more of accommodation on my part, signing him up. But he proved himself that he deserves to be in the PBA, he deserves to be part of Global,” said Pumaren shortly after Cardona played his comeback game in a 109-99 loss to NLEX.
“You know in life, if you can give an opportunity to other people, there’s always room for people to change,” added Pumaren, who’s been on a leave at Globalport to concentrate on his other coaching job at Adamson. “If he stumbles, if there’s a chance for you to pick him up, why not? And this one, this is not a political accommodation, this is not because he played for me, or he’s my godson, or whatever.”
Cardona played five games with the Batang Pier and averaged 7.2 points on 62 percent shooting and 1.4 rebounds in 14.8 minutes.
Making up Globalport’s roster this new season are Pringle, three-time scoring champion Terrence Romeo, Anthony, Arana, sophomore Jonathan Grey, Nico Elorde, Bradwyn Guinto, Arnold Van Opstal, Kelly Nabong, the returning Yousef Taha, along with rookies Lervin Flores, Joseph Gabayni, Julian Sargent, Mike Juico, and Andreas Cahilig.