Three-time PBA champ Cyrus Baguio retires after 16 seasons

Published January 24, 2021, 9:36 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Cyrus Baguio (PBA Images)

Cyrus Baguio is pushing through with his plan to retire after 16 seasons for six PBA teams.

Baguio confirmed the decision to multiple media outlets, ending a career known for providing highlight plays with his dunking prowess and aerial acrobatics.

The 40-year-old last suited up for NLEX in 2019, and was supposed to have his swan song last season but opted against playing in the recent PBA Philippine Cup bubble for personal reasons.

“He just want to give way to the younger players,” said Road Warriors executive Ronald Dulatre.

After playing a starring role with University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP and being one of the best players in the defunct Philippine Basketball League, Baguio was selected 14th overall by Batang Red Bull in the talent-rich 2003 PBA Draft.

But it took a while before coach Yeng Guiao gave Baguio a break as he slowly emerged as one of the main cogs in Red Bull’s impressive runs in the mid-2000s, highlighted by a championship in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference and a Most Improved Player award in 2008.

But Red Bull shipped Baguio to Air21 in 2008, beginning a period of short stints with two teams in the next two seasons.

The team renamed Burger King, despite having Guiao calling the shots, shipped Baguio the following year to Barangay Ginebra before he was dealt to Alaska in 2010.

It didn’t take long for Baguio to make an impact as the Aces captured the 2010 Fiesta Conference while sharing the Finals Most Valuable Player honors with LA Tenorio.

Baguio played six seasons with Alaska, winning another title in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup, before being traded to Phoenix in 2016. Baguio was on the move again in 2017 when the Road Warriors acquired his services while forming a reunion with Guiao.

During his career, Baguio donned the national colors in 2009 and was one of the best players during the Philippines’ stint in the FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin, China.