CYRUS Baguio is hopeful that NLEX can win a championship in his final conference as a PBA player in the Philippine Cup.
The 39-year-old Baguio is set to retire at the end of the Philippine Cup, and he wants nothing but to finish his career on a winning note.
“Goal lang namin, makapasok sa finals kaya kami nandito,” said Baguio. “Gusto namin nag-champion. Ayaw namin ng playoffs o semis lang. Sawa na kami doon. Sana finals naman.”
NLEX is eyeing to bounce back from a disappointing finish to its Governors’ Cup campaign, where the top-seeded Road Warriors were eliminated in the quarterfinals by NorthPort.
Baguio said the team has worked hard in the preseason.
“’Yun ang goal namin. Ginagawa namin lahat sa ensayo, maaga kami, ginagawa namin lahat ng kailangan. Sana may mangyari sa mga pinaghirapan namin,” Baguio added.
Meanwhile, Baguio said his decision to retire at the end of the Philippine Cup is final, saying that he is already lucky that his career has gone more than a decade.
The former University of Santo Tomas standout also said the time is now to retire since the next generation of players should be given the same opportunities that he got in his career.
“Tingin ko, tamang panahon na rin,” Baguio said. “Seventeen years sa PBA, sobrang tagal na ‘yun. Suwerte na nga ‘yun na umabot ako doon. Lumagpas ako ng 10.”
“Marami nang bata na umaakyat. Time naman nila. Panahon naman nila ngayon. Kahit anong mangyari, final na. Maganda man ‘yung resulta ng all-Filipino ngayon, kung ano man mangyari, decided na talaga ako,” he added.
Baguio said he is also happy that his career will end with NLEX coach Yeng Guiao at the helm. It was Guiao who drafted him in the PBA when he was selected 14th overall in the 2003 draft by Red Bull.
“Sa kanya ako nag-start ng PBA, sa kanya rin ako huli maglalaro. Marami akong natutunan. Hindi ko pinaghinayangan ‘yung nangyari sa career ko. Maganda naging resulta at malaking part si coach Yeng sa naging career ko sa PBA,” said Baguio.
Baguio said he is thankful to Guiao for giving him the breaks in a PBA career highlighted by three championships and one co-Finals MVP award with LA Tenorio in the 2010 Fiesta Conference with Alaska.
“Doon ko nabuhos, doon lumabas kasi binigyan niya ako ng kumpiyansa para maglaro sa PBA. Ngayon naman, siya pa rin coach ko. Masaya para sa akin na last ko na sa career ko, siya pa rin,” said Baguio.