The Spark is back. Almost.
Even though he hasn’t recovered 100 percent from an eye injury, Barangay Ginebra superstar Mark Caguioa has been cleared to go back on the court, according to team executive Robert Non.
“He has joined the practice and has undergone a test on his eye injury. Next week, he will go to another test, but right now, mukhang gumaganda na pakiramdam niya,” said Non.
Barangay Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen has seen improvement on the condition of Caguioa, although the player’s injury hasn’t fully healed.
“He’s getting better, but he’s still experiencing migraines,” said Tanquingcen in a telephone interview. “But he was given clearance by his doctor. Wala namang limitations na ibinigay sa kanya, although hindi naman natin puwedeng itodo.”
The Gin Kings coach added that Caguioa will not wear a protective mask, which Johnny Abarrientos did in 2003 after suffering a similar eye injury.
“But he will wear goggles,” said Tanquingcen.
Caguioa missed Ginebra’s semifinal series against the B-MEG Llamados, the eventual winner of the Commissioner’s Cup, after suffering a broken orbital bone socket in his right eye when he was hit inadvertently by James Yap in a playoff game.
With Caguioa out action, the Gin Kings ended up losing to the Llamados in five games.
Despite his tournament-ending injury, however, the six-foot guard, was named the Best Player of the Conference.
With Caguioa expected back in the season-ending Governors’ Cup, Tanquingcen is hoping Ginebra could contend for the title.
“We’re expecting Mark to play alongside our import, Cedric Bozeman,” said Tanquingcen. “Bozeman is a combo player, who can the big guard spot and small forward. Our chances, however, depends on him and how he can carry the team.”
Bozeman, a former member of the Atlanta Hawks, is listed in the United States as a 6-foot-6 wingman.
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