PLAYING with younger peers truly brings out one's youth.
Ronnie Matias can attest to that.
The 35-year-old forward mixed it up with fresh legs as he played for Zark's Burger-Quezon City in the second leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup on Sunday and truly felt reinvigorated.
"Parang bumalik ako sa pagkabata eh," he chuckled. "Ang sarap kakampi ng mga bata. Takbo sila ng takbo, so nahahawa ka. Parang bata ka rin."
Matias was a difference maker for the Jawbreakers, giving the squad, composed of Kib Montalbo, Clint Doliguez, and Paulo Castro, a calming veteran voice on the court.
His presence brought immadiate results, too, with Zark's Burger-Quezon City finally taking a win, a 21-16 victory over Zamboanga in the second leg after going winless in the first offing.
"Tuwang tuwa din ako na kahit paano, nakatulong ako sa Zark's Jawbreakers-QC. Nakakapanibago dahil first time ko maglaro ng 3x3. Ang daming mga tawag sa akin, travelling, technical foul. Pero experience talaga siya," he said.
Like a veteran that Matias is, the University of Manila product is just telling his teammates to stay true to their game, the same thing he has learned in his nine-year career in the PBA.
"Sinasabi ko lang sa kanila na laruin niyo lang ang laro ninyo at enjoy niyo lang ang laro," he said, seeing some similarities to the 3x3 game from how coach Yeng Guiao has trained him back in his days with Rain or Shine.
"Katulad kay coach Yeng, kailangan marunong kang lumaro kahit anong role."
With one leg already under his belt, Matias is hopeful that the Jawbreakers can continue their ascent in the coming legs.
"Sana pumasok kami doon sa mga susunod na legs. Gusto ko rin makatulong sa mga bata," he said.