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    Caguioa refuses to panic: 'Ginebra plays better when backed against the wall'

    May 15, 2013

    THE 70-87 loss Barangay Ginebra suffered against Alaska in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals may be a heartbreaker for the team’s legion of fans.

    But certainly not to resident superstar Mark Caguioa.

    The league’s reigning MVP believes the 17-point blowout in the opener of the short best-of-five championship series may eventually work to the Kings’ advantage.

    “Ako, personally as a player, I’ve been in this team for 12 years. Mas gusto ko talo sa una kasi mas nandiyan `yung urgency dahil nakatikim na kami ng talo eh,” said Caguioa, who had a brief five-minute stint during the first quarter of Wednesday’s game at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    Caguioa said the Kings’ ability to rise from seemingly hopeless situations gives him good enough reason to be confident going to Game Two on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.  

    “Iyung 0-4 (start) namin, 0-1 ngayon. Ano ba naman `yung three straight na ano … I wouldn’t be worried for this team because it’s better for us to lose this first game. Naging never-say-die pa itong team na ito for nothing,” declared the 33-year-old guard.

    The Kings, who overcame two big road blocks in the playoffs against No. 2 seed Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals and powerhouse Talk `N Text in the semis, started flat in the series opener.

    Alaska went on an early 14-0 run behind JV Casio, RJ Jazul, and import Robert Dozier, in contrast to the 12 straight misses from the field by Barangay Ginebra to open the game.

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    “Malaking takip ng ring sa amin eh,” said Caguioa. “But let’s give their (Aces) defense credit dahil maganda defense nila eh. Na-double nila si Vernon (Maklin). Medyo ang gulo namin kanina eh (on offense),” admitted the Ginebra veteran.

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