MARK Caguioa opened the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on a high note, finishing with 11 points in only 10 minutes in Ginebra’s Game One win on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The 38-year-old was a spark off the bench in one of his best games of the season, but Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone said he was the least surprised to see the veteran step up on the Finals stage.
“Mark gave us a big lift coming out late in the first (half),” said Cone. “We played a small, quick line-up. We want to use his quickness. He is the guy that you have to account for.
“He has played in these games before. He knows how to score. He knows how to get to the basket. He was lights out from 16-18 feet,” Cone said.
Despite limited minutes during the elimination round, Cone knows Caguioa can erupt at any time, and make defenses pay.
“They have to put a defender. You can’t just sag off him and ignore him. We want him and paired him with Jeff Chan. They would spread the floor and account the defense. That lift he gave us what huge. And he is capable of that,” said Cone.
Cone said Caguioa’s play is what the Kings need from this second stringers in this finals series against the powerhouse Beermen.
“I’m never afraid to put Mark in the game. I know he is going to come out, be aggressive, look for his shot, and make defense pay. That’s the great things you have coming off the bench,” said Cone.