There was some sadness on the part of Rodney Brondial after learning that Magnolia will trade him to Alaska.
The 6-foot-7 bruiser had been with the Hotshots for the last three years, and even won a championship there. But that all came to an end when the Hotshots traded him and Robbie Herndon to the Aces for Chris Banchero last November 3.
“Medyo nakakalungkot kasi, alam mo ‘yun, ‘yung bonding namin tsaka ‘yung relationship namin sa Magnolia medyo malalim na eh. ‘Yung mga anak nila ninong ako, tapos ‘yung anak ko ninong sila, mga ganun,” Brondial said.
But trades are simply part of the business aspect of basketball, and the 28-year-old big man himself — who has been traded for the third time in his pro career — fully understands, so he took it how a professional should.
“Tinanggap ko as a professional. Yun naman talaga dapat kasi ‘di ba trabaho naman ‘to e,” said the Adamson product. “Tinitignan ko lang ‘yung positives, like hindi naman talaga ako nawala sa liga, nalipat lang ako ng team.”
Brondial also admitted he actually felt excited when he learned he was heading to Alaska, as it will reunite him with Jeff Cariaso.
Cariaso was the head coach of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel back in 2014. Then, they used their sixth pick in the Rookie Draft of that same year to acquire Brondial, who was coming off a stint in the PBA D-League then.
“Nung nalaman ko sobrang excited talaga ako. Sinabi ko naman kay coach Jeff na sobrang excited talaga ako,” he said.
“Nung rookie year ko nung sa Ginebra, siya ‘yung kumuha sa ‘kin. Tapos naglalaro kasi talaga ako sa kanya eh.
“Siyempre nami-miss ko rin minsan talaga maglaro. Nung nalaman kong si coach Jeff, alam ko naman siguro may plano siya kaya niya gusto talaga ako kasi kunin. Siguro, naiisip ko may plano si coach Jeff sa ‘kin,” he added.
Brondial and Herndon made their Alaska debut on Wednesday night when it took on the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters. And they got themselves a warm welcome as the Aces reigned victorious, 105-102, to earn their third consecutive win.
“Sobrang saya kasi nanalo kami sa first game pa namin,” said Brondial, who had two points and three rebounds.
With his first game as a Milkman done, Brondial now plans to work as hard as he can to repay the trust given to him.
“Gusto ko lang talaga suklian ‘yung trust na binibigay ni coach Jeff sa akin at ng management. Pagtatrabahuhan ko talaga,” he said.
“Sana, kahit papaano maipakita ko rin talaga kung ano ‘yung [kaya kong gawin].”