MANILA, Philippines – Former La Salle players MacMac Cardona of Meralco and Mike Cortez of Ginebra shared the PBA Player of the Week award for the period of March 26 to April 1 after stepping up for their teams during crunch time.
For the past week, Cardona averaged 23 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, helping the Bolts make it to the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioners’ Cup.
Meanwhile, Cortez normed 16.5 points, 8.5 assists, five rebounds and 1.5 steals per game as the perennial crowd favorites Ginebra booked an automatic berth in the semi-finals.
Cortez led Ginebra in their two crucial victories over Air21 and B-Meg last week.
Against Air21, Cortez scored 18 points to go along with nine assists as the Kings booked a 15th straight semi-finals appearance.
He was even better against B-Meg, scoring 15 points on top of eight assists and seven boards as he led the Kings to a come-from-behind victory over the Llamados that allowed them to seize the second automatic semi-finals slot.
Meanwhile, Cardona excelled in the Bolts’ two crucial games against Powerade and B-Meg.
"(Cardona) is amazing," Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio told PBA.ph. "Not only is he scoring big numbers, he is also doing it in the most crucial stages of the game."
Against Powerade, he scored 24 points on top of seven rebounds andfive assists as Meralco won the playoff for the last quarterfinals berth. Cardona then led the Bolts to victory in Game 1 of the best-of-three quarterfinals series against B-Meg, tallying 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists in that game.
He was at his best during the final period, when he scored 11 points that allowed the Bolts to pull away from the Llamados.
"MacMac has an incredible desire to win. He keeps his focus on the task at hand despite the heckles from the crowd," Gregorio noted. "A true mark of a winner who thrives through adversity. Always nice to have somebody like that in your team."