YENG Guiao admitted he had no plan to put Marion Magat in his lineup prior to the PBA season.
But the free agent wasted no time changing his mind.
“Marion Magat is a pleasant surprise,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. “When we picked him up and we saw him in practice, we were actually planning to put him on the reserve list.
"But after a few days in practice, we felt that he deserved to be in the regular lineup.”
The 6-7 Magat has not only earned a place in NLEX's lineup, but he is also getting the minutes he never had at Alaska after he was picked 18th overall in the 2015 rookie draft.
On Sunday, Magat once again proved his worth as he tied his career high with 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in JR Quinahan's absence, helping NLEX post its first win of the season, 107-97, at the expense of Columbian.
“He is proving that he deserves his slot,” Guiao said.
Magat, who played for National University in college, couldn't be any happier at the surprising career turn.
“Nagulat din ako sa performance ko,” said Magat. “Pinaghandaan ko sarili ko. Sabi nila, mag-focus ako sa katawan ko. Eto ‘yung naging resulta. Maganda ‘yung resulta ng game ko.”
Magat is thankful to NLEX for giving him a new lease on life after he was not re-signed by Alaska.
“Laking pasasalamat ko sa NLEX dahil nabigyan nila ako ng chance na maglaro sa PBA at mapakita ‘yung talent na binigay sa akin. Thankful din ako na na-lineup ako,” said Magat.
Guiao is mighty glad to have a solid player to add to a frontline that includes Poy Erram, Raoul Soyud, and Asi Taulava.
“Having Marion and Poy in the middle especially with the absence of JR (Quinahan due to injury) really gave us the inside presence both on offense and defense,” said Guiao.