After being named to his 10th All Star Game, the 36-year old Brgy. Ginebra guard Mark Caguioa is ecstatic for the chance to play alongside the younger guards whom he had memorable duels in the past.
Caguioa is excited to play alongside Terrence Romeo, Paul Lee and even his fellow Eagle Rock alum Alex Cabagnot for the North team in this year’s All Star Game.
“Excited because I wanna play alongside these guys. Parang national team but this time, it’s fun. Playing alongside with him (Terrence), and Paul Lee who is also one of the guys I wanna play along with and here we are,” Caguioa told FOX Sports. “And I think we also have another one, si Alex rin, I wanna play with him too.”
Lee had hit big shots against Caguioa in their past Ginebra-Rain or Shine duels while Cabagnot was hyped as his rival during his early years in the PBA with their high school connection.
But it was the Romeo, whom Caguioa had a memorable duel just recently that brought out the best in him.
During Romeo’s rookie year, Caguioa outgunned the flamboyant young guard dropping 29 points to the GlobalPort’ rookie’s 27 in a vintage performance that carried the Kings to a 109-104 victory.
Caguioa later said that he sees a lot of his younger self in Romeo. They could have been teammates earlier if Brgy. Ginebra opted to pick Romeo over James Forrester in the 2013 Rookie Draft but that’s all water under the bridge now.
What happened in the past, that’s already in the past. I’m just thinking about now,” Caguioa said.
The man they call “The Spark” is even willing to give way for the younger guys, especially Romeo, the reigning All Star MVP, to take over on Sunday.
“Hopefully, we could beat these tall guys (South All Stars). Of course, I’ve been taking the backseat. I’m probably taking another backseat here. I just want the fans to enjoy the game. Manalo, matalo, this is for the fans,” Caguioa said.
While he doesn’t want to dwell on the missed shot of having Romeo as teammate at Ginebra, the one-time MVP is relieved that he doesn’t have to defend Romeo in this year’s edition of the annual classic.
“Like I said, lagi ko siyang nakakalaban, ako ang bumabantay sa kaniya and mahirap bantayan si Terrence,” Caguioa said.
And he’s sending a warning to whoever from the South All Star will have the unenviable task of shadowing Romeo in a free flowing game that suits his style.
“Now that I’m gonna be playing with him, good luck na lang kung sino ang magbabantay sa kaniya sa kabilang team,” Caguioa warned. – By Alder Almo
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo