Caguioa bags best player award
But injured Ginebra guard rues missing semifinal date with B-MegBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MARK Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra, out of action for exactly a month now, won yesterday the PBA Commissioner’s Cup’s Best Player of the Conference award which he said failed to ease his pain of not being able to play.
“I am still not happy because I didn’t get to play in the semifinals (against B-Meg),” the 32-year-old Caguioa told reporters shortly after accepting the plaque, the second in his career, from league commissioner Chito Salud minutes before Game 4 of the championship series pitting the Llamados against the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters last night.
“With this, ako lang ang masaya (I’m the only one from the team who’s happy),” added Caguioa, who wore dark shades to cover a career-threatening eye injury.
“I wanted to take the whole team to the championship. Like everyone else, I want to win a championship. I want to play every day, I want to play every time. I want to play every conference.”
Caguioa’s right eye is partially deeper than the left, the result of an unfortunate incident in a knocklout game for No. 2 against the B-Meg Llamados last March 30.
The 2001 Rookie of the Year is suffering from dizziness, double vision and migraine and has been told that, in a worst scenario, a surgical procedure would be needed to correct the injury. He is expected to be out for as long as three months.
“I was a much-deserving (recipient) the first time (in 2006-2007),” Caguioa said. “That’s because we won the championship in that one. This one I had to sit it out in the semifinals.”
The covering media gave Caguioa 32 first-place votes for helping the Gin Kings snag the No. 2 spot, which weighed heavily in the consideration of the members of the PBA Press Corps.
“One recommended surgery,” Caguioa said of the opinion of one of four eye specialists that he has so far seen.
“But all of them told me to get a complete rest, because consistent motion, like jumping up and down, can aggravate the injury,” added Caguioa, whose first BPC came in the 2006-2007 Philippine Cup after leading the Gin Kings to the championship opposite San Miguel Beer.
He tallied 1,085 points after dominating media, players and league votes to win by close to 200 points over Powerade’s Gary David.
“I really don’t look forward to awards, I want championships,” he continued while saying that he actually wouldn’t have mind if David won. “I would have given it to Gary (David). He’s a hardworking player.
We should reward players like those.”
B-Meg’s Denzel Bowles, meanwhile, won the Best Import race pulling away from Donnell Harvey of Talk ‘N Text with 1,364 points. Harvey had 886 as Bowles, who turns 23 tomorrow, became the youngest winner of the award.
Cyrus Baguio of Alaska was third with 556 points, with super rookie Marcio Lassiter, who was traded to Petron Blaze last week, winding up fourth with 470 points. LA Tenorio, also of Alaska, finished with 434. David tallied 900 points.
With his win, Caguioa automatically becomes a candidate for the season Most Valuable Player award, like David, who won the Philippine Cup BPC.
When told of this, Caguioa seemed genuinely surprised, but rubbed his hands together and declared: “In that case, I should get well the soonest.”