A FEARED scorer his entire PBA career, Mark Caguioa is trying to 'reinventent' himself starting this season.
With Barangay Ginebra loaded with scorers in almost every position, the one-time PBA MVP said he no longer feels the urgency to put up big numbers on the board and instead is trying to be a better-rounded player in the twilight of his accomplished career.
That was none more apparent than on Sunday night when Caguioa did a little of everything, scoring seven points, grabbing seven rebounds and adding four assists to help the Gin Kings mutilate reigning PBA Philippine Cup champion Purefoods, 89-66, before more than 18,000 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Kailangan mo rin palitan yung laro mo eh, kasi almost everyone can score on this team,” Caguioa told Spin.ph after Ginebra moved up to a share of second place with San Miguel Beer at 4-1.
Caguioa, who is turning 35 a few days from now, said coach Jeffrey Cariaso's triangle offense does not rely on one man alone and puts more players in a good position to score.
“The first five can score, except lang si Billy (Mamaril), but with this triangle (offense), everyone has a chance (to score). Lahat ng tira mo, pag nakikita mo stats, para bang everyone is getting a good look, ganun ang triangle eh,” said the Ginebra superstar.
Caguioa fired a season-high 23 points in Ginebra’s 100-91 win over Blackwater last Tuesday but his scoring has gone down significantly this season, averaging a career-low 10.5 points in 21 minutes of play this season.
But the 13-year PBA veteran doesn't seem to mind.
Instead, Caguioa has vowed to give the team’s legion of fans the hustle plays that the Gin Kings have always been known for since the time of PBA legend Robert Jaworski, Sr.
“What I try to do is, I’ll be more of a hustle player. I’ll play defense or dive on the floor, or try to get offensive rebounds just so to change the game a little bit,” he said.
“People know me as a scorer, pero they haven’t really seen this other side of me. But I had my time (to score), but now I hope I can help this team win a championship. Kasi hinihintay na ng mga tao yun eh.”