MARK Caguioa joined an elite list of PBA players as he finally scored his 10,000th point on Friday night in Barangay Ginebra’s match against NLEX in the Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Caguioa reached the milestone at the final 1:06-minute mark on a jumper in the Kings' 106-92 victory over NLEX, becoming the 16th player in the league's 43 years - and 15th Filipino player - to reach the 10,000-point plateau.
He was only the second active player on the list after Rain or Shine star James Yap.
In his 16th season, Caguioa joined an elite club led by Ramon Fernandez, who is the all-time leader in scoring with 18,996 points. Abet Guidaben is in second with 15,775 while four-time PBA MVP Alvin Patrimonio is in third with 15,091.
Current Meralco coach Norman Black is the only import on the list.
Justin Brownlee had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks while LA Tenorio and the returning Japeth Aguilar each had 17 points as the Kings regained the solo lead in the with a 6-1 record.
But the night belonged to Caguioa, who will turn 39 on Nov. 19. The No. 3 pick of Ginebra in the 2001 rookie draft scored 16 points including eight in the third quarter to move within two of the milestone.
As fans chanted his name, Caguioa was inserted back in the game midway through the fourth where he had four cracks at the basket. He finally hit the mark on a jumper off an assist from Scottie Thompson.
Caguioa returned to the bench shortly where he was feted by his teammates.
The Kings made their move in the second half after leading by only one point at the half, 42-41, as Tenorio, Caguioa, and Brownlee combined for 29 of Ginebra’s 40 points in the third quarter to create separation from the Road Warriors.
“At halftime, we were kinda scratching our heads. We couldn’t really put a finger on it. Just seemed like we weren’t playing great, we weren’t playing badly, just kinda in between,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“Finally, in the third quarter, things started to click, defense started working, and we started hitting shots. I was quite in shock, I didn’t expect to go that way,” Cone said.
Ginebra will return to action on Sunday to take on Meralco in Sta. Rosa, Laguna in a rematch between the finalists of the last two Governors Cups.
“But we are really happy to get this one by us and go into the Meralco game 6-1. That’s huge for us,” said Cone.
Larry Fonacier had 21 points, while Aaron Fuller had 20 points for NLEX, which fell to 4-3.
Ginebra 106 – Brownlee 26, Tenorio 17, Aguilar 17, Caguioa 16, Mariano 10, Caperal 6, Chan 6, Ferrer 5, Manuel 2, Thompson 1.
NLEX 92 – Fonacier 21, Fuller 20, Quinahan 13, Paniamogan 10, Tiongson 9, Miranda 8, Mallari 8, Taulava 3, Rios 0, Galanza 0, Baguio 0, Ighalo 0, Tallo 0.
Quarters: 24-22; 42-41; 82-65; 106-92.