‘SKYRUS’ had seen its final flight.
Flamboyant guard Cyrus Baguio, who dazzled basketball fans with his aerial acts and maneuvers, finally retired from the game he loves most after a colorful 17-year career crowned by three PBA championships.
Baguio, 40, and known by his moniker 'Skyrus,' made the decision at the conclusion of the Philippine Cup bubble.
NLEX management and his long-time representative Danny Espiritu confirmed the retirement of the acrobatic guard out of University of Santo Tomas.
“Yes, he’s retired,” top NLEX representative Ronald Dulatre said.
“Oo retired na siya. Last year niya pa inisip yan,” added Espiritu. “Last contract niya na yun with NLEX.”
The veteran players’ agent was referring to Baguio’s contract extension with the Road Warriors last season which the native of Iligan, Lanao Del Norte native considered as his pre-retirement deal with the franchise.
“Pinag-bigyan naman siya ng NLEX and nag-usap naman sila ng maayos,” said Espiritu.
Unfortunately, what was planned as his final playing year didn’t pan out as the league had to play the entire resumption of the all-Filipino conference inside the Clark bubble in Pampanga. Baguio, citing personal reasons, opted not to play.
He ended his career though, playing for the same coach who drafted and served as his first ever mentor in the pro league.
Champion coach Yeng Guiao found Baguio still available in the second round of the 2003 draft despite a stellar amateur career, and lost no time using Red Bull’s pick in tabbing him at No. 14 overall.
It didn’t take long for Baguio to repay Guiao’s trust as he became an integral part of the team’s rotation and eventually, won his first ever PBA championship during the 2005-06 Commissioner’s Cup.
After being traded by Red Bull, he had short stops with Burger King and Barangay Ginebra, before landing at Alaska following a blockbuster, one-on-one trade with the Kings for two-time MVP Willie Miller.
Baguio flourished with the franchise where he won two championships with legendary coach Tim Cone (2010 Fiesta Cup) and Luigi Trillo (2013 Commissioner’s Cup). During the Fiesta Cup championship series, he was named co-Finals MVP by the PBA Press Corp together with LA Tenorio.
After six seasons with the Aces, he was dealt to Phoenix and played with the team for a year, before finally being reunited with Guiao at NLEX, which acquired him in 2017 following a three-team trade that also involved NorthPort.
Obviously on the twilight of his career, Baguio still had flashes of brilliance in his two-year stint with the Road Warriors, whom he helped reached the semifinals for the first time in franchise history during the 2018 Philippine Cup.
Baguio obviously has a spot in Guiao’s heart as he made him part of the 2009 Powerade national men’s team that competed in the FIBA Asian Men’s Championship in Tianjin, China.
In his 17-year career, Baguio, a nephew of the late PBA player Ric Ric Marata, made the Mythical Second Team twice, was the 2008 Most Improved Player, the 2010 Samboy Lim Sportsmanship awardee, won the slam dunk title in 2004, and was an All-Star 11 times.
Currently, he is busy tending to his huge poultry business in Pampanga.