Caguioa: We’re ‘kangkong’ no more
It’s been a ride full of twists and turns for Ginebra icon Mark Caguioa.
He won a title, proposed to his girlfriend Laura Hudson, and prepared to say goodbye to best buddy Jayjay Helterbrand.
And it all happened in a span of 15 minutes.
As Ginebra ended its eight-year title drought in the PBA with a 91-88 win over Meralco in Game 6 of the PBA Governors’ Cup, Caguioa crammed a lifetime of memories into mental snapshots.
And he started by going through everything that he and Helterbrand had gone through.
“Man, you better not retire man,” said Caguioa Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum as he fought emotions.
“That’s all I’m saying, that’s why I was crying because we won the championship.”
“I was crying because it might be the last time that we’re going to step to the court. That’s why I was sad.”
Caguioa joined Helterbrand in the Ginebra backcourt in 2001, a year after the shifty, sweet-shooting point guard entered the league.
Together, they won five championships for the Kings.
This last one will rank as his favorite not only because of the emotional aspect but also because it gave the Kings vindication—and a way to silence the critics after Ginebra failed to win a single championship for eight years.
The most popular meme used in mocking the Kings over social media was associating the team with the water vegetable kangkong, a metaphor for mediocrity.
“Some people made fun of us, calling us kangkong,” Caguioa said, laughing. “But look at us now. Who’s kangkong now?”