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NLEX’s Cardona starting to defer to younger Road Warriors

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Call it a win-win move for the NLEX Road Warriors.

Kevin Alas played close to 40 minutes in the Road Warriors’ 114-112 overtime win over Barangay Ginebra last Friday, scoring a career-best 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting.

Other young guards like Simon Enciso and Garvo Lanete played over 11 minutes, while veteran guard Mac Cardona only logged over three minutes.

Followers can expect to see more of this from NLEX, as Cardona is already deferring to the younger guys — a move beneficial for both sides of the picture.

“I am happy the way Mac is accepting his role right now. Naging positive si Mac on that. I give credit to his attitude. Plus if Mac is fresh and we need a scorer in the end then he will be there and ready to help us,” NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez said.

Once a dominant scorer in the league and a Best Player of the Conference winner, Cardona, the 11-year veteran, is comfortable just giving instructions to the youngsters.

Giving guys like Alas, Lanete, and Enciso more minutes in the backcourt rotation also helps them long-term with their development while saving Cardona from having to play extensive basketball minutes.Kevin Alas

“It’s part of the regular rotation. We got Kevin from a trade so Jonas (Villanueva) can slide to the two. It made wonders for us last conference. Simon is stepping up. Maganda rotation namin,” Fernandez added.

Alas himself enjoys the rotation, and spoke highly of Cardona’s professionalism towards it.

“Mac is a team player. Ma-advice siya kung paano makakatulong sa team. Malaking tulong yun,” Alas shared.

Cardona is averaging only over 12 minutes a game in the season, the lowest in his career. His usage rate also dropped from 25.9 two seasons ago to only 21.4 this time around.

“Masaya na nabibigyan ka ng confidence ni coach. At the same time, always ready naman siya eh. Kapag nasa bench siya, kakausapin naman niya ako at bibigyan niya ako advice. Maging aggressive lang daw ako,” Alas added.

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