Mark Caguioa asked for it. He got it.
Longing for the good old days, Caguioa got that vibe when Barangay Ginebra streaked to their 2nd straight win, flashing their never-say-die spirit anew in hacking out a gutsy 92-87 win against rival Star Hotshots in another Manila Clasico thriller.
The Kings wiped out a 6-point deficit and proved to be steadier down the stretch to move to .500 in a win that sent a big chunk of the 16,126 crowd that packed the Big Dome on this Sunday night happy.
“Ang maganda sa panalo na ‘to is we won it by our defense, and not just on offense saka we didn’t panic kahit na nakuha nila ang lamang,” Caguioa said.
Behind Mark Barroca’s torrid shooting in the 3rd canto, the Hotshots seized an 8-point lead, 74-66, after being down by as many as 12 towards the end of the opening half.
But the Kings tightened up their defense in the final quarter holding Barroca scoreless and limiting Denzel Bowles to just 4 points, including missing his last 2 attempts inside the final minute.
Caguioa credited coach Tim Cone for instilling that discipline and patience at Ginebra.
“Si coach Tim ang nagdala ng poise sa team namin. Before, kapag nalamangan kami we were rushing to take the lead back. Pero ngayon, we are now patient,” said the veteran guard who tallied 8 points and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes.
Caguioa, who have seen the ups and downs of this franchise since 2001, believes the team is destined to reach greater heights with Cone at the helm.
“We’re growing. Our chemistry is getting better. Hopefully, magtuloy-tuloy na pero ‘wag sana laging ganito (close game). ‘Yun naman sanang kumportable kami and we can hold it until the end,” he said. — By AA