After an uneventful elimination round performance, veteran wingman Mac Cardona is starting to make a lot of noise for the JPS Zamboanga City as his stellar performances against the second-seeded Clarin Sto. Niño propelled his team to the second phase of the semifinals against the Roxas Vanguards.
In Game 1, Cardona helped lift JPS to a 70-68 win over Clarin with a season-high output of 17 points to go with five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Apart from the points, it was Cardona’s timely assist that pushed JPS to the win as he found a wide-open Jerome Ferrer for an easy layup and the go-ahead basket with 1:53 to go.
In Game 2, the 39-year old Cardona had 11 points in the fourth period and overtime to finish with 16 points, three rebounds, and three steals.
JPS head coach Tony Pardo said Cardona’s resurgence could not have come at a better time.
“"Si Mac, to be honest, he was on a slump pero ngayon nabuhayan siya against Clarin and that's a good thing for us,” said Pardo.
More than the production, Pardo said the intangibles that the former La Salle Green Archer brings to the table is what makes him a very important part of the squad.
"'Yung experience, 'yung leadership, yan ang nadadala ni Mac sa amin. He is just a born leader," said Pardo.
JPS Zamboanga and Roxas will clash in a best-of-three series beginning with Game 1 on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The winner will advance to the Mindanao leg finals against the Basilan Peace Riders. (JNP)