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Reden Celda can join with NLEX thanks to an opt-out arrangement with an MPBL team

Oct 22, 2022

Due to an opt-out agreement with an MPBL team, Reden Celda can join NLEX.

To help a squad plagued with injuries, the 30-year-old Davao guard inked a conference-long contract with the Road Warriors for the Commissioner’s Cup.

When the opportunity for a PBA comeback presented itself at NLEX, Celda was playing for Zamboanga Family Brand Sardines in the MBPL.

“Kulang-kulang kasi yung NLEX kasi ang daming injured sa kanila. So tinawagan ako ng agent ko (Ed Ponceja), sabi niya puntahan ko,” recalled the guard out of National University.

“So sayang yung opportunity, e. Nag-practice ako sa kanila two to three days. Masaya naman at nabigyan ulit ng opportunity na makalaro sa PBA.”

For Celda, this resembled a homecoming in several ways.

He was actually chosen by NLEX in the second round of the 2016 draft, but a five-player transaction that took place just before the season began led to him joining the KIA team.

During his five years with the former expansion team, where he received All-Rookie recognition in 2017, Celda played.

However, despite a promising beginning, his playing time decreased until, before the start of the 47th season, his contract was not renewed, and he was forced to leave Terrafirma.

Celda chose to do his performance in Zamboanga, where he has been performing for the past two months, rather than pout.

“At least kung naglalaro ako, tuluy-tuloy ang ensayo ko,” he said.

When the PBA call arrived, his contract with Zamboanga was still in effect. The good news was that he already had a deal in place with the MPBL ballclub.

“May agreement kami ni coach (Vic Ycasiano), na kapag may call-up ako sa PBA, pwede akong mag-opt out,” said Celda.

When Celda was a member of the Bulldogs, Ycasiano was a member of the NU coaching staff.

Now all he has to do is make the most of the chance that new coach Frankie Lim, who he characterized as being very meticulous in his work, is giving him.

Despite the fact that Celda has only missed one conference this season, playing in the PBA is like beginning all over again for him.

“Kinakabahan nga ako,” he said of his first game with the Road Warriors. “Pero adjust-adjust lang. At least nakakalaro kahit paano. Ang importante, huwag kang magkakamali at magawa yung mga gusto ng coaches.”

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