Mark Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra captured his second straight Best Player of the Conference award, putting him in solid position for his Most Valuable Player plum.
But the Gin Kings superstar guard says he would trade individual succes for team glory.
“I’m happy with the award, but I’m not satisfied. Going to the finals is my goal and I would trade this trophy for a finals berth. When you win a championship, it brings the team together, so I felt my season wasn’t fulfilled,” said
But Caguioa, who also won Best Player in the Commissioner’s Cup, admits that he’s thinking about winning the league’s top individual honor.
“Now I’m really thinking about it,” said Caguioa. “Before, I was aspiring for it. Ngayon ko na-realize na you don’t have to ask for it, but you need to work for it.”
Inspired by Jaworski
“Pero nanghihinayang talaga ako na hindi kami nanalo ng championship, especially now na ni-retire yung jersey number ni Coach Sonny Jaworski,” he said. “We had a chance of winning the championship this conference, with me playing out there, but we came up short.”
Curiously, Caguioa is now 32 years old, the same age Jaworski was when the Living Legend won his only PBA MVP in 1978.
“I didn’t know that. And if ever I win, that would be special,” said Caguioa.
Out of shape
Caguioa admitted he hasn’t been in best condition, especially after he suffered an eye injury that cut short his campaign in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“I’m not in great shape. There were times fatigue caught up on me, particularly during our games against B-MEG,” said Caguioa.
“But I’m not trying to make excuses. Sa B-MEG talaga ako nahihirapan and that’s a fact.”
Caguioa missed Ginebra’s semis series against the Llamados in the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals because of the injury. He came back strong in the Governors’ Cup, but once again lost to B-MEG in a knockout game for a finals berth.
This early, Caguioa is already looking to bounce back.
“I’m looking forward to next season. It’s really a whole different ball game right now. So I want to work on my stamina. You don’t want to take things for granted. I do extra work now, kasi mas grabe yung intensity ng games ngayon,” he said.
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