MARK Caguioa was surprised to hear he would play in another PBA All-Star Game on March 8 at the Puerto Princesa Coliseum in Palawan.
The flamboyant Barangay Ginebra superstar said he wasn't aware he was voted to start for the North team with Marc Pingris, Calvin Abueva, Justin Melton, and Kings teammate Japeth Aguilar until a scribe asked his thoughts on playing alongside his league rivals.
“Really? I didn’t know,” Caguioa told a handful of reporters on Friday after the Kings’ 100-92 victory over KIA Motors in the Commissioner’s Cup. “I’m more focused on playing, kasi mas importante sa akin 'yung team ngayon eh. I'm not worried about (making the All-Star team).”
Caguioa wanted so much to turn Ginebra's season around that on a night when the team posted a second successive win, he was still riled by the fact that the Kings gave up 92 points to KIA and its towering import PJ Ramos after limiting their first three opponents to just 78.7 points.
“We lacked depensa namin. That’s one thing we need to step up on,” he said. “Pero what can you do with a guy that’s seven-four, seven-three? You can’t really stop him. Importante we got the win.”
Caguioa, though, is pleased with how their run-and-gun offense is progressing under coach Ato Agustin after scoring 16 fastbreak points and another 16 off the Carnival’s turnovers.
“Who wouldn’t be satisfied with the running game?” he said.
The former league MVP, who has averaged 11 points, five boards, one assist, and one steal in 31 minutes in his first four games in the midseason conference, garnered the ninth most number of All-Star votes with 15,076, more than enough to earn an eighth All-Star appearance.
He is of course grateful to the fans.
“I’m really thankful to the fans,” said the 35-year-old Caguioa, the third overall pick in the 2001 Draft. “I’ve been here fourteen, fifteen years and they still want to see me, so that’s a good thing.”