MARK Caguioa is setting modest goals as Barangay Ginebra begins another chapter under new coach Frankie Lim.
The former league MVP admitted all he’s aiming for with the Kings right now is to make it to the semifinals of the season-ending PBA Governors Cup and then take it from there.
“Eh sana these guys (younger Ginebra players) can bring us to the semis lang. That’s all I’m asking. I’m not even asking to be in the finals, but just step by step,” Caguioa bared to Spin.ph shortly after a rigorous practice under Lim at the CCF gym in Ortigas.
The league’s most popular ballclub failed to make the semis for the fourth straight conference after being bundled out by Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals of the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.
Ginebra had not won a championship since winning the 2008 Fiesta Conference, with Caguioa and backcourt partner Jayjay Helterbrand the last remnants of that title squad.
No wonder Caguioa could’t help but be envious of fellow superstar James Yap, who has achieved a lot over the last five years with Purefoods.
“With my career, like yung sila James, James is winning (championships). Ako, I’m still here, pero the difference is, I’m not winning,” Caguioa admitted.
“Sina Gary David, they make it to the semis. Eh siyempre nakakainggit yung mga ganun.”
Over the last five seasons, Yap has won a total of six championships with Purefoods, including a rare grand slam last season as the Hotshots became just the fourth team to achieve the feat in the league’s 40-year history.
But Caguioa is keeping his fingers crossed the Kings fortunes will change for the better under Lim, who he described as ‘strict’ and someone who will yell at a player in practice if needed.
“With coach Frankie, he’s strict. The thing is, with coach Frankie, he breaks down every detail na dapat mong gawin sa practice, so we don’t make the same mistake (during games),” explained the ‘Spark.’
“Ang nangyayari sa amin (before), we keep making the same mistakes. Now we have new guys, and we need someone na sisigawan ka. Kailangan namin na sisigawan ka.”
With Lim in charge, Caguioa said the only concern now is to get into game shape because the Kings are expected to run a lot while also maximizing the presence of youthful big men Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.