NO QUIT IN THE SPARK
BARANGAY Ginebra would not stay in the dumps for long. Not when it has “The Spark”to further stoke its famed never-say-die spirit.
The Kings had Mark Caguioa coming up with a couple of big games that boosted them out of an alarming rut and rekindled their playoffs aspirations, while earning for himself
the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period Nov. 5 to 11.
Caguioa scored 19 points in a slide-stopping 81-79 victory over GlobalPort last Friday and then followed that up with 22 points and 11 rebounds, despite a cut eyebrow, in a
104-101 stoppage of Talk N Text just two nights later.
“Mark exemplifies the spirit of Ginebra,” said Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen Monday. “Tulad kagabi, kahit dumugo na ‘yung mata bumalik pa rin siya at naglaro pa
din. And when we needed the big baskets he stepped up.”
The reigning MVP said credit should be shared, especially now that the entire team seems to have become more familiar to Tanquingcen’s tinkered system which was largely blamed for the Kings’ five-game losing skein.
“I think everyone is on one page now and everyone believes that we could still turn things around. We added new plays and everyone is getting involved, especially our big men,” said Caguioa.
“And I’m glad coach Siot added all his new plays and kept everyone intact. I could see good things coming out of this because even though we lost five straight the whole coaching staff kept reminding all the players that it’s not over yet.”
Caguioa certainly would not let Ginebra be taken out of the race for a slot among the top eight advancing to the playoffs.
Against GlobalPort, Caguioa scattered seven of his points in the fourth quarter, sparking a drive that Jayjay Helterbrand sustained with six of his eight points and one of his six assists that LA Tenorio converted into a triple for an 80-75 count, still 1:51 left.
The Kings did not buy a single basket the rest of the way, but their defense hung tough and held off the Batang Pier’s Gary David-led fightback in the end for the victory.
Things seemed set to turn sour for Ginebra against TNT when Caguioa sustained a cut left eyebrow caused by an Ali Peek swipe that accidentally hit his eyeglasses, 2:22 left in the first quarter.
The injury seemed to have fired Caguioa up even more as he went on to score 18 the rest of the way, including eight in the final canto that helped keep the Tropang Texters at bay.
Those back-to-back victories jacked Ginebra’s win-loss record to 4-5, lodging it at sixth- running spot.
Should Caguioa’s words prove to be prophetic, it could only mean ominous things for the opposition. (NC)
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