MPBL: Big Mac Andaya bringing veteran experience to young Valenzuela
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 11, 2019 05:33 PM
"I think I know what I can do and bring to the table, na maging stabilizer sa ilalim, rebounds, depensa, and yung leadership," - Mac Andaya
Veteran big man Mark "Big Mac" Andaya is gearing up for his third Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League season, and he'll be suiting back up for a familiar franchise in the Valenzuela Classic.
Andaya began his MPBL career with the Classic in the 2018 Rajah Cup before jumping to Mandaluyong before the start of the 2018-2019 Datu Cup.
Big Mac's stint with the El Tigre didn't last too long, as he found himself headed to the Pasig Pirates midway through the season.
The move to Pasig proved to be beneficial for Andaya, as he saw more playing time, and in turn put up better numbers, averaging 10.5 points, nearly seven rebounds, and three assists in 20 minutes per game.
Andaya's efforts were not able to steer Pasig to a winning record however, as they finished with a league-worst 4-21 record.
Now, Andaya hopes to be able to bring his veteran presence to a young Valenzuela squad.
"Siguro yung postives lang dun is, when I played with another team, nagkaroon ako ng opportunity na mapakita and ma-showcase talaga yung talent ko," Andaya told ABS-CBN Sports. "Siyempre pag-sinabing ex-pro, matanda or mabagal or mahina na, pero dito, nagkaroon ako ng avenue na mapakita sa tao talaga na kaya ko pa maglaro and I’m sure the stats say so. Almost double-double naman ako para sa Pasig, so feel good naman yun para sa sarili ko, na mapatunayan ko sa sarili ko na I can still play, para looking forward to the next season, kung saan man ako maglaro, now sa Valenzuela, ma-carry over ko yung positives na nakuha ko playing for Pasig ngayon sa Valenzuela."
Valenzuela finished with a better record than Pasig in the Datu Cup, but still could not crack the top-eight of the Northern Division, therefore falling short of a playoff berth.
With the right mix of preparation and fine tuning, Andaya believes that this Classic squad has what it takes to make a post-season run.
"Ako di umabot ng playoffs with Pasig, yung Valenzuela hindi din umabot, pero I think I know what I can do and bring to the table, na maging stabilizer sa ilalim, rebounds, depensa, and yung leadership, kasi puro bata ang Valenzuela, apat lang ata kami na ex-pro," Andaya explained. "So sana, with kaunting fine-tuning sa play, sa jelling and sa leadership from me and the other veterans, everybody steps up, yung mga kaunting game na kulang pa namin, I’m sure makukuha na namin yung important wins for us to be able to make it to the playoffs."
Andaya is one of only three ex-pros on the Valenzuela Classic roster, along with Paolo Hubalde and Hans Thiele.
Expected to step up for Valenzuela this season will be new acquisitions in former Marikina Shoemaster Erwin Sta. Maria as well as Jason Varilla.
Andaya meanwhile noted that Chris and Carlo De Chavez and Kido Cabrera are some of the guys he sees producing quality minutes for the Classic.
"Yung galing America, yung de Chavez brothers, I see a very good potential from them, also si Kido Cabrera, siguro reliever kay Paolo kasi magaling siya sa ball-handling tsaka stabilizer din. So far, yung tatlong yun."
The goal for the Classic this season is simply to make the Playoffs, says Andaya.
"Napag-usapan namin, maka-pasok lang muna kami sa Playoffs. We have to work hard to make it to the Playoffs, and then from there, let’s see kung saan kami aabot. Yun muna, Playoffs muna."