GIVEN the chance, Mark Caguioa would still trade his 2012 PBA season MVP trophy for a chance to play in the Finals.
But the Barangay Ginebra superstar has learned to cherish his MVP award that he plans to spend the night with the trophy — at the expense of his grilfriend.
“Katabi ko 'yung girlfriend ko kung matulog. Pero siguro ito (trophy) muna yung katabi ko mamayang gabi,” Caguioa said, drawing laughter from those present during the post-awards interview.
The joy was understandable, considering Caguioa has finally been recognized with the league's highest individual honor after more than a decade as one of the PBA's most popular players.
The 12-year veteran said the award came when he least expected it.
“The time when I was immature, ito na yung ultimate award na inaasam ko sa sarili ko. Pero I grew up at hindi ko na siya inintindi. All I did was just play and make the people happy,” he said.
“Iniisip ko yung mga tao eh. If you’re one of the great players in this league, kailangan pakita mo dahil ang mga tao nagbabayad just to watch you play.”
Coincidentally, the 32-year-old Kings shooting guard won the top individual plum at the same age as former Ginebra cager Robert Jaworski when the Big J won his MVP trophy in 1978.
The award gives Caguioa added motivation.
“It’s gonna put on a lot of pressure. I have to train harder. Kailangan ipaglaban ko yung MVP ngayon,” he said.