San Juan awaits last piece of puzzle in MPBL buildup

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WITH four ex-pros now on its roster, San Juan is preserving the last piece in the puzzle before it gets going in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

Led by Mac-Mac Cardona, the Knights are making their return to the local basketball scene since their successful stint in the Metropolitan Basketball Association 18 years ago.

Cardona, a many-time scoring champion and part of TNT champion team in the 2008-2009 Philippine Cup, will spearhead the Knights’ campaign starting June 12.

He will be joined in the line up by fellow ex-pros – Larry Rodriguez, Samboy de Leon, and Jam Cortes.

The last spot, according to team manager Jun Usman, will be reserved to an ex-pro, whose identity is withheld at this time.

“Naka-reserve nay un sa kinakausap namin, but we’re still waiting for his availability. Pero tapos na kami sa mga tryouts. We’re on the process of finalizing our team,” said Usman in a telephone interview with

Rodriguez was part of the Rain or Shine champion squad in 2012, having played for Yeng Guiao for a few years before he was relegated to the reserve list. He last saw action in the PBA for the TNT Ka Tropa in the 2015-2016 season.

De Leon played briefly for the Star Hotshots last season, but was waived this season.

Cortes, a bruising frontliner, was a former player of Letran, who made his comeback as a role player for the Phoenix Fuel Masters only to be released at the end of the Philippine Cup as his spot was taken over by import James White.

The Knights, owned by Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Jay Cancio, signed as one of the six expansion teams to join the growing MPBL family. Team governor of the squad is Chris Conwi.