“The people wanted this award more than me, so this one’s for them.”
Mark Caguioa waited 11 years before finally winning the Most Valuable Player award, and he dedicates it to people who never left his side.
“I’d like to go out playing in front of the crowd and give them a total treat. Mahal ang ticket. Naglalaro kami not because were being paid by our teams, but we have to show something to the people who paid to watch good games,” said Caguioa.
“Maybe, God did something for me to change my approach towards basketball and the people. I got injured in the 2008-09 season, but the people continued to support me. So when I got better again and got a new lease in life, I vowed to change, pray more and leave everything to God,” said Caguioa
Prior to the season, Caguioa had the reputation of being one of the best players to not win MVP.
“It was worth the wait,” he said, adding that his approach toward the MVP award has changed. “I was also immature and was seeking the award when I was still young and healthy.
“[But this year] I didn’t aspire for this award, yet it was given to me.”
No guts, no glory
Caguioa suffered a scary eye injury earlier this year, but returned despite the threat to his career. He led Ginebra to within a game of the finals in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
“It’s worth it playing even with an eye injury,” said Caguioa. “I just prayed a lot and left everything to God. God and the people who continuously supported me and Barangay Ginebra, umulan man o umaraw, sila ang inspirasyon ko.”
Moments after winning the MVP award, Caguioa said he doesn’t want to rest on his laurels.
“There’s a lot of pressure for me next season,” said Caguioa. “Because the MVP is now in my hands, I have to train harder. I don’t want to feel the same experience of former MVPs na after manalo, biglang nawala na.”
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