VETERAN superstar Mark Caguioa believes the famed never-say-die spirit still remains with Ginebra.
Unfortunately, he only sees half of the team demonstrating the very mind-set for which the franchise has been known for.
Pouring his heart out amidst the team’s roller-coaster ride in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the former league MVP stressed the Kings need to embody the never-say-die attitude collectively and not half-heartedly if they would want to put an end to their long, seven-year title drought.
“You don’t think about that (never-say-die). It’s built-in sa individuals. But the never-say-die spirit is not for everyone because there are guys that has that in their hearts, nasa puso na nila,” Caguioa told Spin.ph shortly after the Kings concluded their Saturday practice at the Fil-Oil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
“But sometimes, may players na di naman ganun yung laro niya. Pero may ibang tao, they show the never-say-die spirit by diving for the ball and they defend.
“But for this team? Siguro kalahati lang ang merong never-say-die.”
Caguioa’s slight tirade came in the aftermath of the Kings’ 96-90 loss to the NLEX Road Warriors after they failed to protect a 12-point first half lead.
The 35-year-old guard is aware the never-say-die tag which the team became known for during the time of legendary playing-coach Robert Jaworski Sr., has stuck with succeeding generations of Ginebra players
But Caguiao said living up to it is a different story altogether.
“It’s really up to us if we’re really gonna show that (never-say-die spirit),” said Caguioa, who is coming off a left hip injury.
“The motto is there, the never-say-die, but are we gonna do it? Or are we gonna relive ano man yung sinabi ni coach Sonny before? Are we gonna do it? Hopefully we do,” added the charismatic Ginebra superstar.
Caguioa is just one of three Ginebra holdovers who was part of the last team that won a championship during the 2008 Fiesta Conference.
The two others left from that champion team were Jayjay Helterbrand and center Billy Mamaril.
Heading into Sunday’s crucial match against Rain or Shine, Ginebra is shooting for its fourth win as it tries to inch closer to a playoff spot in the mid-season, import-spiced conference.
The Kings are currently tied for fifth to seventh spots with Globalport Batang Pier and NLEX Road Warriors.