Mark Caguioa has achieved numerous feats in his 18 years in the PBA.
This year alone, the man known as “The Spark” added more accolades to his resume.
Caguioa is a loyalist to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings after spending 18 long seasons in the country’s most prestigious basketball league, including the historic 2020 Philippine Cup.
He became the longest-tenured PBA player in a single franchise after surpassing the likes of PBA legend Alvin Patrimonio and Harvey Carey.
This year as well, the back-to-back titles of Ginebra made Caguioa a nine-time PBA champ.
And the 41-year-old veteran couldn’t be more proud of his teammates after surviving more than two months inside the bubble in Clark, Pampanga en route to their first All-Filipino title in 13 years.
“Man, I’m so proud with everyone,” said Caguioa after Ginebra defeated the TNT Tropang Giga in Game 5 of the Finals Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
“It’s been so hard, lalo na ‘tong All-Filipino. It’s just been amazing and I thank every over here,” added the nine-time PBA champion.
Despite his rare appearances–suiting up for only two elimination games in 5.38 minutes of average play–Caguioa’s voice as the most senior player on the team became an additional boost for the young core group.
With Caguioa’s experience, even coach Tim Cone wanted the 2001 Rookie of the Year to stay with Ginebra for as long as he wanted to help the young guns develop their tenacity and play.
Looking back at the bubble experience, Caguioa gave credit to all the Ginebra faithful who gave them moral support even with the absence of a live audience at the AUF gym.
“You know, ‘yung mga taong nanonood sa bahay, napakahirap. I mean, same routine, every single day. ‘Yun ang sinasabi nga [na] ball is life,” said the 2012 Most Valuable Player before his teammates poured water over him, interrupting the interview with One Sports’ courtside reporter Selina Dagdag-Alas.
“It’s been hard. Ang hirap talaga. Itong championship para sa inyo ‘to.”