THE road to redemption for KCS Computer Specialist-Mandaue guard Ping Exciminiano has been long and winding. However, the light at the end of the tunnel has never been brighter, especially after he finally got his breakout game in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Cup on Friday, April 30, 2021.
After missing the majority of the double round-robin elimination round because of a hamstring injury, the 6-foot guard finally got into a groove and tallied 16 points, four rebounds and three steals in KCS’ 78-50 rout of the Dumaguete Warriors. Afterwards, the Far Eastern University product said it felt good to be able to do well out on the hardcourt.
“Sobrang laking bagay sa akin na nakakalaro na ulit ako kasi after all ng nangyari sa akin, napatunayan ko sa sarili ko na makakalaro ako ulit. Ayan yung paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa isip ko,” said Exciminiano.
He said he was also grateful for KCS head coach Mike Reyes’ patience and trust in him, saying that the latter and the rest of his coaching staff stuck by him while he recovered and rehabilitated his hamstring injury.
“Nagpapasalamat ako ng sobra kay coach Mike (Reyes) dahil yung patience and tiwala na binigay niya sa akin, hindi nagbago kahit hindi ako nakalaro ng eight games sa team pero still yung tiwala na binibigay niya sa akin nandoon,” shared Exciminiano.
“Kaya nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa kanya and sa assistant coaches namin na si Coach Vince and Coach Jax, kahit nagrerecover ako, sila yung tumutulong sa akin sa practice at nag-momotivate sa akin na hindi mag give-up sa process ng recovery ko.”
Exciminiano’s triumphant return to the floor is the culmination of what has been a tumultuous year and a half journey for him. Slated to return to Rain or Shine with a two-year deal just waiting to be signed, Exciminiano tore his Achilles tendon while playing in a “panalay” game. Rain or Shine subsequently rescinded the offer, leaving him and his basketball career in a state of uncertainty.
Through it all, Exciminiano said that his wife was his anchor, constantly encouraging him to not give up despite the many challenges.
“Nagpapasalamat ako lalo sa asawa ko dahil sa kabila ng nangyari, siya lang ang nakapitan ko sa lahat ng struggle ko,” said Exciminiano. “Lagi niya sinasabi kapag may nawala, may kapalit na mas malaki si Lord.” (JNP)