MARK Caguioa admits Father Time is catching up on him, and that he only has a few good shots left at a PBA championship.
No wonder the former league MVP is unable to hide his excitement entering the new season where he feels a souped-up Barangay Ginebra finally has its best shot at ending a five-year championship drought.
“With this lineup, we’ll do whatever it takes, kaming mga beterano … we don’t want to waste this opportunity (to win another title),” Ginebra's resident superstar told Spin.ph.
The challenge now, he said, is to prove that Ginebra is not just a paper tiger.
They Said It!
"Of course, I am excited (about our chances). We have a very good lineup, (but) we still have to prove that this is not only good on paper.” - Ginebra star Mark Caguioa
So impressive is Ginebra's lineup following the arrival of top rookie pick Greg Slaughter, James Forrester, and Eman Monfort that Caguioa feels they will be the target of most teams this season.
“Syempre, kami talaga ang pag-iinitan ng ibang teams. Lalo na ngayon we have Greg (Slaughter), Japeth (Aguilar) and James (Forrester). Kaya they will want to test us,” he added.
“We have a deep bench, kumpleto kami ngayon eh kaya we’re expecting be the target - kasi kami ang parang team to beat. And we have to prove that,” the former Eagle Rock High School star added.
As one of the veterans in the team, the 33-year-old former scoring champion said it is his job to keep the rookies in line while keeping them in the right frame of mind amid the heightened expectations.
“I just tell them not to be afraid to commit turnovers, because if you think about making a mistake … you are not gonna play well,” Caguioa said.
“Just play your game … worry about the play and worry about how you can help the team. Wag kang hesitant or tentative … you’ll more likely to commit an error,” he added.
Caguioa, though, was quick to temper expectations for the team, saying Ginebra should not get ahead of itself and take it one game at a time.
“We’re not creating any dynasty … right now, we’re just trying to win games, get into playoffs, semis and finals and the title,” he said.
“Hindi namin muna pinag-uusapan yun. The most important thing is everyone gives his share to the team so we can attain the ultimate goal."