MICHAEL Miranda admitted he's on cloud nine now that he back with NLEX, where his PBA career really took off.
Traded to NLEX by NorthPort in exchange for Juami Tiongson, Miranda, a second-round draft pick of Barako Bull in 2015, is thrilled to be back to the team that gave him his first real break in the PBA.
“Una sa lahat, masaya na nakabalik ka kung saan ka nagkaroon ng kulay ‘yung career mo,” said Miranda, 28, in an interview with SPIN.ph after Monday’s practice. “Kumbaga, dito nabuhay career ko kahit papaano kay coach Yeng [Guiao].”
After his big breakthrough with NLEX, Miranda was sent to TNT as part of the three-team trade that enabled the Road Warriors to acquire Poy Erram from Blackwater.
Guiao said the NorthPort trade offer was just too good to resist. The feeling is mutual.
“Bihira lang ‘yung coach na nagbibigay ng chance na makalaro lahat ng players niya,” said Miranda. “Thankful talaga ako kay coach Yeng at sa mga boss namin. Kahit papaano, kahit nawala ako dito, pagbalik ko, ‘yung pakiramdam ko, ganun pa rin.
Miranda said Guiao was the reason for his improvement. The 6-foot-6 center averaged 6.6 points and 3.7 rebounds through 38 games with the Road Warriors in the 2017-2018 season, while missing just four matches.
In his two seasons with the Barako Bull/Phoenix franchise, Miranda was only averaging 1.9 points and 1.5 rebounds in 42 games.
“Kailangan mo iimprove sarili mo. Kung hindi, makakarinig ka kay coach Yeng. Dapat trabaho ka. Gawin mo ‘yung role mo, ‘yung mga kailangan mo iimprove, kailangan mong gawin,” said the former San Sebastian Stag.
Miranda vowed to make his mark on the the defensive end in his return to the Road Warriors.
“Kasi hindi mo na kailangang umiskor dito. Marami nang scorers dito. Siguro kung ano ‘yung kulang namin, siguro sa depensa. Effort lang. Ibigay mo ‘yung best mo kapag naglaro ka," said Miranda.