PING Exciminiano is savoring a new lease on life to his PBA career.
Over a year after suffering an Achilles injury playing in a 'ligang labas' game that nearly ended his basketball career, the soft-spoken guard made his way back to the pro league after signing a contract with TnT on Friday.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed by his agent Danny Espiritu, who, like countless fans, was simply happy to see the 32-year old guard get a fresh start to his career.
"Punong-puno po ako ng mga lessons na natutunan," an excited Exciminiano told SPIN.ph as he sat next to Espiritu after the formal signing of his new contract with the Tropang Giga.
The TnT gig capped a long road back for the Olongapo-born guard out of Far Eastern University, who was a day away from signing a new contract with Rain or Shine in January 2020 when disaster struck: he suffered a Grade 1 tear in his Achilles while playing in a ligang labas game on the invitation of a friend.
The partial tear required surgery and a recovery period of six months. Exciminiano said he and his wife decided that he skip the PBA bubble season to keep him in better health for a shot at a PBA comeback this year.
"Pinaghandaan ko po talaga itong taon na ito," he said. "Naisip namin mag-asawa, ms malaki ang chance ko [na makabalik] kung healthy ako."
With no guarantees, he tried out for a spot in an already guard-heavy TnT ballclub. Through sheer hard work, he defied the odds and inked new deal to make it back to the PBA - healthy, older and definitely wiser.
"Hinding-hindi na po," Exciminiano said when asked if he'll ever entertain invitations to play in a ligang labas game again.