RONNIE Matias’ hard work paid off once more as he has been included in Rain or Shine’s official lineup in time for the team’s opening game of the PBA Season 41 on Wednesday night against Star.
Trying out for the last two months, the journeyman forward was activated to complete the Elasto Painters’ 14-man roster as the team has yet to sign rookie guard Josan Nimes of Mapua.
“Tuwang-tuwang ako kasi unang-una, ang laking tulong nito sa pamilya ko,” Matias told Spin.ph on Tuesday after practice. “Thankful ako kay Lord tsaka kay coach at sa RoS management.”
“Ang alam ko pansamantala lang ‘to dahil inaantay pa si Nimes,” he added. “Basta ready lang ako kung ano ipapagawa sa akin ni coach. Gagawin ko talaga best ko habang nasa lineup.”
Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao didn’t confirm if Matias’ activation is temporary or not.
“We will just take care of the problem when it’s already there,” the veteran mentor said.
Guiao likes the 6-foot-4 Matias, who signed a one-year contract last week, for his versatility.
“He is our big three,” he said. “Nakakalaro siya ng tres na kung gusto namin ng big lineup, we can have Gabe (Norwood), Ronnie, and Jeff (Chan).”
“Para siyang lucky charm,” Guiao added in jest of the returning RoS cager, a member the 2012 Governors’ Cup champion team.
“Nung nandyan siya, nag-champion kami. Nung napunta ng Purefoods, nag-champion din. So tingnan natin kung meron talagang bertud yang batang 'yan.”
Guiao hopes the 31-year-old Matias will simply live up to what he has always been known for.
“Hindi naman nawala yung angas ng team eh. Siguro nadagdagan lang pag nandyan si Ronnie.”
“Sanay na sanay sa amin si Ronnie at sanay na sanay din kami sa kanya, kaya nung naging available siya, naghanap ng paraan para ma-lineup siya,” he added.