Photo Curated by Courtside PhilippinesTHE PRO373
Acosta enjoying new lease in life in MPBL
by Eugene Flores, September 03, 2019 3:49pm
When a door closes, another one opens.
That is exactly what happened to Binan City – Laguna Krah Heroes standout Macky Acosta, who was left at the end of the road of his young career, despite still having a lot of prime playing years ahead of him.
Acosta almost made the jump from playing to coaching a few years back when he was left with no choice after being unsigned in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
However, he found himself a new home and is now thriving with the Southern Division squad of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Growing up, it was Acosta’s dream to play ball along with the best of the best in the country. He started his journey when he joined a basketball skills camp through the help of his father when he was just seven years old.
And everything just started to fall into place after that.
Acosta then became a varsity player for the Paco Catholic School in Manila when he was in fifth grade until his second year in high school before transferring to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Juniors Division squad of the Jose Rizal University (JRU).
"First love ko basketball talaga kasi bata palang talaga nag-start na ako dahil din sa dad ko. Nag laro sya JRU din and sa Welcoat nung time nila," he said in an interview with Courtside Philippines.
The 6'3" forward continued his path towards becoming a professional baller through the basketball program of the then Mapua Institute of Technology (now Mapua University) Cardinals, where he spent the entirety of his playing years in college.
It was there where he further developed his skills and was known as a stretch, agile big man who can spread the floor.
"Nagstart ako mag laro ng ganun, yung pick and pop nung si coach Chito (Victolero) na yung humawak Mapua. Mas naging effective ako nung ganun kaysa sa three position,” he held.
“Lalo sa Mapua kasi si Allan Mangahas usually binibigyan ko ng screen so maghe-help talaga yung tao ko kaya ako nao-open. Tapos dinevelop lang nila coach Randy Alcantara and coach Yong Garcia yung mga counter moves ko sa pag drive," he explained.
Graduating with a degree in Psychology from Mapua and getting all the experience he needed in the hardcourt, Acosta went straight to the PBA Developmental League (D-League) to continue on the path towards becoming pro.
It was in 2012 when Acosta finally applied for the PBA Draft and found himself among the same class as the then highly-touted collegiate recruits June Mar Fajardo and Calvin Abueva. But that did not discourage him from still trying his luck to break into the top-tier basketball league in the country.
Luckily, he was picked by the GlobalPort Batang Pier (now NorthPort Batang Pier) as the sixth pick in the third round that year. He was drafted by the team together with Fil-Foreign cagers Jason Deutchman and AJ Mandani but unlike the two, he failed to make it to the final roster.
"Na-draft ako sa Globalport Batang Pier noong 2012 kaso mga one month ako doon pero hindi din naka-sign," he continued.
That was a huge blow to the dream of the 32-year-old player but that did not drive him away from the sport he holds close to his heart as he started to shift his focus into giving back to the younger generation of players.
He started teaching the new generation of basketball players through coaching clinics in Makati while also serving as an assistant coach to Pablo Lucas in the Wangs Basketball Team in the PBA D-League.
Acosta did that while also shifting his attention away from the playing court by establishing several businesses of his own on the side.
"Nagtayo rin ako before ng gym and iba't-ibang business pa syempre hindi naman hahang buhay makakalaro tayo,” he stated.
In spite all of the ups and downs, that was not the end of the journey for Acosta, who was still longing to showcase his talent one way or another.
Last season, the MPBL came knocking on the door of the forward as he was recruited to play for the Basilan Steel before eventually finding his place in Binan.
"Noong nagkaroon ng MPBL, nabuhay ulit [career ko]. Mag cocoach na sana [ako] eh," Acosta revealed. "Laking pasalamat kay boss idol Manny Pacquiao kasi nagkaroon ng chance ma-extend yung paglalaro ko ng basketball."
"Best job 'to," he added with joy.
Best job indeed as Acosta is now thriving in the system of the Binan Heroes.
“Siyempre masaya kasi apat kami Mapua dito si Allan (Mangahas), Mike (Parala) and Andretti (Steven) tapos tulad nila kuya James (Mangahas) and Kata Bautista mga teammate ko na rin before tapos si Kyle Neypes pa."
Acosta and Biñan currently hold a 5-8 win-loss card in the Lakan Season of the MPBL.
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