FOR Mark Caguioa, the only way for Barangay Ginebra to start winning in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup is for the locals to do their share.
Expressing his frustration over the Kings’ form in the mid-season conference, the reigning league MVP told Spin.ph that the team’s woeful 0-3 start cannot be fully blamed on previous import Herbert Hill, who has since been replaced by Vernon Macklin.
“Kaming mga locals have to be consistent. Kawawa naman kung `yung import lagi ang sisisihin sa mga talo mo sa ganitong conference,” said Caguioa.
The numbers will bear Caguioa out.
The streak-shooting guard is the statistical leader in the tournament with averages of 23.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and four assists, but he is one of two Ginebra players who made it to the Top 20 in the stats sheets.
The only other Gin King to crash the elite list is LA Tenorio at No. 19, but his game has been marked by inconsistencies so far.
In contrast, Globalport, the cellar-dweller in the Philippine Cup, has three players - Gary David, Sol Mercado, and Japeth Aguilar - in the Top 20 while rejuvenated Petron has five.
But Caguioa is confident his teammates will step up.
“Kung lalabas laro ng mga teammates ko, I am sure there’s no way for us to go but up,” Caguioa stressed. “We were in this situation before, hindi na bago sa akin ito. And it’s a good thing hindi nawawala `yung kumpiyansa namin.”
JayJay Helterbrand, Caguioa’s equally celebrated backcourt partner, is likewise optimistic the Kings will rediscover their vaunted never-say-die attitude.
“We have to show it now before we run out of time,” said the one-time league MVP.
If there's one team that knows how to turn things around, it should be Ginebra.
The Kings started out the 2008 Fiesta Conference by losing their first five games, only to win the championship later in seven gruelling games against Air21 through the effort of import Chris Alexander.
Ginebra seeks a first win on Saturday against Alaska in Tubod, Lanao del Norte where Macklin makes his PBA debut.