Mark Caguioa cheers up ailing 93-year-old Ginebra fan with warm welcome at practice
Mark Caguioa was the first to welcome 93-year-old Ginebra fan Narding Gonzaga at the opening of the Gin Kings camp. Karlo Sacamos

BARANGAY Ginebra truly opens its practice doors to diehard fans of all ages.

After welcoming kids with terminal diseases the past few months, the Gin Kings showed their hospitality to a longtime fan in Narding Gonzaga when they opened training camp on Thursday at the Upper Deck gym.

No less than Mark Caguioa was the first player to approach the 93-year-old fan, who came from Las Piñas in a wheelchair assisted by his grandsons.

One of his grandsons, Jiven Tan, said they had initially posted on Facebook requesting Caguioa if he could come to their home to give joy to their ill grandfather

“Early this year, parang palagi na siya na-oospital, humina yung katawan niya bigla, kaya dinecide namin na gusto namin na mapuntahan na siya nina Mark, kasi nung time na yun, hindi siya pwede mag-travel ng ganun kalayo,” Tan related.

“Pero nung naging okay na siya, nakayanan na namin siya i-travel,” he added.

The trip was worth it as Caguioa posed for photos and signed Gonzaga’s jersey.

“Kilala mo ba ako, ‘Lo? Si Jayjay (Helterbrand)? Hindi ako yun,” Caguioa said in his conversation with Gonzaga, drawing chuckles from the other fans around them.  

The rest of the Ginebra players followed suit as they obliged to Gonzaga’s family’s requests.

Caguioa politely declined to grant an interview after practice. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos