Years after he left the team, Robert Jaworski remains proud that the Barangay Ginebra Kings continue to carry his never-say-die spirit.
And one man proudly carries the tradition that Jaworski started at the franchise: Mark Caguioa.
“He carries the never-say-die attitude,” Jaworski told InterAKTV in an exclusive interview. “Magaling siya. He plays all-out every game as if he never cares kung ma-injure man siya.
“He embodies the same old spirit of the team.”
Caguioa made his return in the current conference after sustaining a serious eye injury in the last tournament. Despite not yet being 100 percent, Caguioa leads Ginebra locals in scoring and minutes played.
Beyond the talent, it’s his fearless attitude that has made Jaworski a fan.
“Ang court, maliit lang yan, so everywhere may banggaan, but Caguioa never cares. He continues to play and go out there with the same all-out effort,” said the PBA’s Living Legend.
The 2001 Rookie of the Year never had an opportunity to play under Jaworski, who left Ginebra to run for Senate in 1998. But the hotshot shooting guard was mentored by former Ginebra point guard Bal David, a Jaworski disciple, who instilled in him the pride of being part of the barangay.
Caguioa said he’s motivated to win to honor Jaworski’s legacy. The PBA has scheduled a jersey retirement ceremony for Jaworski on July 8, a playdate that would be deep in the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup. If Ginebra does not make it past the elimination round, they would not be there to play on the same day as the Big J’s big bash.
“Nakakahiya naman kung wala kami doon, ‘di ba?” Caguioa told AKTV’s Sel Guevara, adding that winning is the only thing they would be able to offer Jaworski.
For Jaworski, it would be a great treat to have the Gin Kings there for his retirement ceremony.
“Ang sabi nga nila, magkadugtong ang pusod ko at ang basketball,” he said. “Ganun din ang Ginebra.”
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