CYRUS Baguio flashed vintage form just when it mattered as NLEX finally caught a big fish with an 81-78 win over Barangay Ginebra on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Baguio waxed hot late with 11 of his 13 points in the fourth period, scoring on acrobatic lay-ups to help his squad complete its comeback from a 14-point third quarter deficit and end their four-game slide in the PBA Philippine Cup.
While the high-flying wingman out of University of Santo Tomas was elated with his performance, he still attributed that win to their impressive defense which forced Ginebra to 24 turnovers and limited them to 39 percent shooting from the field.
“Tingin ko ito palang ata yung magandang laro ko simula nung na-trade ako sa NLEX. Pero siguro maganda lang talaga yung depensa namin kanina,” said Baguio who added six boards, four steals and three assist in 25 minutes of action.
“Para sa akin, mas gusto ko yung mga ganitong laro, yung dikit para lalong mag-grow yung team kasi baka sakaling magamit namin sa future games namin. At least batak na yung mga bata, sanay na sa mga ganitong laro,” he added.
The 37-year-old guard also attributed his scoring tear late to their fluid execution down the stretch as the lane opened up for him, allowing him to attack the basket at will like he used to do in his heyday.
“Hindi ko naman magagawa yung mga ginawa ko kanina kung di lang dahil sa mga teammates ko e, maganda yung execution namin kanina. Pero pinakaimportante yung depensa namin, na-stop namin sila,” he said.
Baguio conspired with fellow veterans Larry Fonacier and JR Quinahan to take charge in steering the Road Warriors back on the right path after letting younger teammates shine in the first few games.
For Baguio, they’re just making the most out of the trust that coach Yeng Guiao gave to them.
“Siyempre, nandiyan si JR at Larry, maraming experience yan e. Binigyan kami ng tiwala ni coach kanina, sinuklian lang namin kung ano yung binigay na tiwala ni coach sa amin,” Baguio continued.
“Thankful ako na ginawa ko yung part ko at nakatulong ako sa team, sana mag-grow pa yung team.”
Now that they’ve finally broken their dry spell, Baguio hopes that this translates into more wins for them as they enter the final stretch of the elimination round in the middle of the standings with a 3-4 record.
“Malaking tulong yung panalo namin ngayon. At least nawala na yung malas. The more na natatalo ka, nadodown yung morale ng mga players e, nawawalan ng kumpyansa. Buti na lang nakuha namin yung panalo ngayon,” said Baguio.
“Pinakaimportante, one game at a time dahil dikit dikit yung standings. Kailangan namin ituloy. Sana hindi lang ngayon yung success namin, sana sa future games din namin.”