MANILA, Philippines – As the saying goes: Never underestimate the heart of a champion. That also rings true for a Most Valuable Player.
Mark Caguioa, the reigning PBA MVP, came through in the clutch to tow Barangay Ginebra San Miguel past Alaska, 96-93, and earn the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week (November 12 to 18) honor for the second straight time.
Caguioa’s heroics, highlighted by 13 fourth-quarter points, got the Kings rolling to their third consecutive victory and move their record to .500 at 5-5, good for fifth.
“His heart towards the game, that’s really his asset,” marveled Ginebra head coach Siot Tanquingcen.
“How he played last night , both on offense and defense at the end of the game, you can say he willed us to win,” Tanquingcen added.
Caguioa, who turned 33 Monday, on the other hand, spoke about team effort which he said was the key to winning.
“Everyone on the team is getting involved and we have more flow in our offense,” said Caguioa, who pumped in a game-high 24 points.
“The most important thing is, the guys are learning their roles. And coach Siot is doing a great job telling guys where they should be and what they should be doing so it makes it easier for everyone.”
Caguioa had ample help with big man Billy Mamaril, Chris Ellis, Willy Wilson and LA Tenorio all contributing in their own ways.
But when the going got tough, in a game that saw 14 deadlocks and lead changes, with Ginebra even falling behind by as much as eight 72-80 with 10:17 left, three letters spelled the difference: MVP.