AFTER suffering a scary eye injury last season, Mark Caguioa admitted he never saw himself recovering fast enough to be able to finish the season with a bang.
That should explain the Ginebra superstar's joy as he found himself surrounded by two Best Player of the Conference awards (Commissioner’s Cup and Governors Cup), his first PBA MVP trophy and now the PBA Press Corps' Comeback Player of the Year award - all in one season.
“That (pointing to his Comeback Player of the Year trophy) is the exclamation point for all my awards this past season,” Caguioa told Spin.ph, shortly after receiving the award during the 19th PBAPC Awards Night on Monday night at the Kamayan EDSA.
Caguioa said all these awards somehow eased the bitter memory of an eye injury suffered in what he described as a freak accident after hitting the wrist bone of B-Meg guard James Yap during one play in their Commissioner’s Cup semifinal match-up.
“Just thinking about what I went through with my right eye, to me, it was impossible really to be able to come back and play well again. Tingin ko nga, dapat mga one year pa before I could really play well,” he added.
“I had blurred vision for more than a week. And when I watch TV, I had to wear a sunglass kasi nasisilaw ako. That’s one of the worst pains I’ve ever experienced. I had terrible migraine also because I never thought connected pala ang mata sa ulo,” said the Gin Kings star.
Fresh from a five-week vacation in Los Angeles, Caguioa is excited to put the injury scare behind him and whip himself back into shape ahead of what should be a thrilling season for the Gin Kings and their army of fans.
Expectations have been raised after the entry of Fil-Am rookies Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen along with prized offseason acquisition LA Tenorio, but Caguioa was quick to put in a word of caution.
“In the 12 years I’ve been in the PBA, here’s what I realized: that it doesn’t really matter how talented your team is. Our team needs to work together and achieve chemistry for us to be able to compete well,” said the 2001 PBA Rookie of the Year.