SHORTLY after Ginebra lost to Blackwater in a road game on Dipolog City on Saturday night, Spin.ph's social media sites have been deluged with one question:
Why was Mark Caguioa benched in the second half?
So we tried to toss the question to new Ginebra coach Frankie Lim, who, despite an injury-ravaged lineup, made the decision to sit both Caguioa and backcourt partner Jayjay Helterbrand with the game on the line.
Lim, though, is not talking. So is Caguioa. In fact, there's been no official word to explain why Caguioa was benched in a second half of a game - a rarity in the checkered career of the former league MVP.
But this we learned. Caguioa wasn't injured, meaning he was ready to play had his number been called. Instead, Lim went to LA Tenorio, Josh Urbiztondo, Sol Mercado and Eman Monfort the entire second half.
Team insiders said Lim decided against fielding Caguioa for the simple reason that he was on an 'off night,' having gone 0-for-2 from the field with three rebounds and on turnover in 14 minutes in the first half.
“Ang sama ng laro eh. Kaya ini-upo na lang,” said a Ginebra insider who requested that he not be named. “Wala, malas ang laro eh."
Caguioa ended up going scoreless in a game for the first time in almost a year, or since June 15, 2014 when he went 0-for-6 from the field in 28 minutes as a starter in a 92-96 Ginebra loss to Talk 'N Text.
Caguioa, of course, rarely gets benched for no major reason, but he has also come out in the past saying he will respect whatever Lim will do to keep Ginebra going.
Then again, only time will tell how this episode will affect the relationship between superstar and coach as well as Ginebra's bid to end an eight-year championship drought.