11 years in the making: Ginebra’s Caguioa is PBA MVPBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—It took over a decade, but Mark Caguioa finally brought home that missing piece to his already illustrious career.
Caguioa, Ginebra’s top gun, was crowned the Most Valuable Player of the 37th season of the PBA Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City for his phenomenal showing the entire season.
“It”s a very humbling experience. This is special to me,” said Caguioa, the third pick of the 2001 PBA Draft.
Caguioa, who has always donned a Gin Kings jersey throughout his career in the PBA, is actually the first player to win the plum without a finals stint the entire season.
The Gin Kings only reached as far as the semifinals in both Commissioners and Governors Cups.
Bringing home back-to-back Best Player of the Conference awards, Caguiao garnered 2,399 points ahead of Powerade’s Gary David, who had 1,891 points.
The points are made up of statistical points and votes from the media, co-players and the PBA officials.
Caguiao also made it to the PBA Mythical First Team along with David, Petron’s Arwind Santos and B-Meg’s James Yap—both MVP nominees—and Talk ’N Text’s Ranidel de Ocampo.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee was the unsurprising receiver of the Rookie of the Year Award and was also included in the PBA Mythical Second Team.
Lee’s teammate Jeff Chan, who also brought home the Most Improved Player citation, completes the second mythical team along with Talk ’N Text’s Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams and Alaska’s Sonny Thoss.
For Chan, though, no award would equal the amount of pride brought by winning the title as his squad tries to extend its lead to 3-1 over B-Meg later Sunday night.
“This award won’t matter if we don’t win the championship,” said Chan, who’s been starring in most of the Elasto Painters’ crucial victories as of late.
Powerade’s rookie Jvee Casio was given the Sportsmanship Award while teammate Doug Kramer, along with Santos, B-Meg’s Marc Pingris, Rain or Shine’s Jireh Ibanes and Talk ’N Text’s Ryan Reyes compose the All-Defensive Team.