DIGOS CITY - Injured Barangay Ginebra superstar Mark Caguioa said he felt good during a brief six-minute stint in the PBA All-Star game against Gilas Pilipinas on Sunday night at the Davao del Sur Coliseum.
Caguioa, voted as a starter for the PBA All-Star team, surprisingly started at guard and spent the first three minutes of the mid-season classic mostly running up and down the floor.
He returned to start the second half and hit a lone three-pointer before being pulled out of the game for good by All-Star coach Luigi Trillo with still close to nine minutes to go in the third period.
“I was surprised that I felt no pain though I wasn’t forcing it,” Caguioa told Spin.ph. “The thing with that (lateral movement), I just have to be careful. Of course, if my left leg touches or hits the floor, yung parang mag-slide siya, I can experience pain.”
The reigning league MVP said Sunday’s exhibition game was the first time he played in a five-on-five contest since he sprained the MCL on his left knee on March 22 against the Meralco Bolts.
“Makikita mo sa court, I really was trying to be careful and not really play defense. The scary part was when I got that rebound in the second half,” he recalled.
Caguioa said he had All-Star co-MVP Jeff Chan to thank for the only field goal he made in the game, which ended in a 124-124 deadlock.
“Actually, I told Jeff, 'Once I got it (ball), Jeff let me shoot.' So when he was challenging me, he said, 'Go, go go,'" Caguioa laughed. "I want to thank Jeff for that.”