MARK Caguioa acknowledges rookie Terrence Romeo’s capabilities and eagerness to shine, but the Ginebra star said he’s not yet ready to move aside and let the reigning UAAP MVP eclipse him when their teams meet for the first time this season.
The 34-year-old former MVP proved he can still light up the scoreboard, registering a game-high 22 points as Ginebra downed Rain or Shine, 97-84, on Sunday.
Caguioa dished out the big game just a day after Romeo drew comparisons with him after coming up with a 34-point performance in only his second game as a pro to lift Globalport to a 114-100 win over Air21 on Saturday.
“I’m 34 years old, but I still want to show these guys that I’m still here,” Caguioa said.
On Sunday, shadowed on defense by former Rookie of the Year Paul Lee, Caguioa played with fire in his eyes, sinking jumpers and even doing his signature crossover moves against the Rain or Shine third-year pro.
His baseline quick-release jumper off Lee’s outstretched arms midway in the final period drew loud cheers from the predominant-Ginebra crowd inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Paul Lee, he’s an upcoming, or shall we say, he’s already there, already made a name for himself,” said the one-time PBA MVP.
“But now, you got a guy named Romeo, he’s a very aggressive player, gusto niya rin magpakilala eh, pretty sure, he’ll bring his A-game against me.”
Former Ginebra big man Eric Menk said Romeo reminds him of Caguioa, but the Gin Kings star said he’ll just have to be aggressive and make sure he plays cerebral basketball when their teams collide next week.
“Well, kasi matagal na kami magkakampi ni Eric sa Ginebra eh. He’s (Romeo) very aggressive and offensive-minded. Having to guard a guy is like that, eh mahirap ma-stop yun, because whether he’s off night, or bad night, he’ll find a way to score,” Caguioa added.