MARK Caguioa admitted he felt goose bumps when chants of 'Ca-guio-a, Ca-guio-a' broke out inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum as the Barangay Ginebra faithful demanded that he be fielded in with Game Four of the series against Talk 'N Text hanging in the balance.
“Yeah, I heard it,” said Caguioa a few minutes after Ginebra’s afternoon practice. "I was so happy and touched."
As much as he wanted to jump in and grant the fans' request, Caguioa said he thought better since he didn't want to mess up the team's chemistry at a crucial point in the game.
“Syempre, gusto ko talagang maglaro. Pero ayokong masira ang game plan ni coach Alfrancis (Chua), so sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Coach don’t worry about me’,” said the reigning league MVP.
Caguioa said he can never sacrifice the welfare of the team for personal glory.
“Pero kung ang game namin is like nung Game Three, baka pumasok pa ako dahil baka makatulong ako. Pero yung game namin kagabi ang ganda eh. Ayokong masira yung chemistry,” said Caguioa.
“Nalungkot din ako kagabi kasi hindi ko napagbigyan yung fans, pero mahirap eh. Mahirap akong ipasok sa ganung sitwasyon. I will sacrifice - whatever it takes,” the 2001 Rookie of the Year added.
Caguioa promised one thing.
“Alam ko gusto rin nila akong makitang maglaro, pero hindi ko sila bibiguin,” bared Caguioa. “So in case na makapasok na kami sa finals, sigurado maglalaro na ako ulit.”
With the promise, Caguioa is encouraging their millions of fans to pray harder so Ginebra can hurdle Talk 'N Text in Game Five on Sunday and move on to the best-of-five championship series.
“Yes (by that time), I will be back on the court," he vowed.
Listen to the full interview below: