The 45th Season of the PBA was undoubtedly a historic and unforgettable season.
Aside from those games, it’s the first (and hopefully the only) time that the PBA held a bubble to complete a two-month tournament.
As we all know, the pandemic ruined everything for us and in the PBA world, it ruined the exit of couple of legends in the game.
Sonny Thoss and PJ Simon didn’t have the exit fans wanted to give to those two legends. Cyrus Baguio, who missed out on the bubble, could be another one of them as there is still no official word on his future.
The great Asi Taulava was able to play in the historic bubble in Pampanga and although, it’s still uncertain whether the 47-year-old legend will finally retire or play for one year, it was great to see him.
Out of all the legends mentioned above, one man, one legend, one superstar, is left unmentioned. And I won’t be shy to say that I’m glad that Covid didn’t ruin his possible exit.
Heading into the season, there were talks that the 2020 season would be the final year of Mark Caguioa’s career.
It was to be the curtain call for the man that became the face of the most famous ball club in the country for almost two decades.
And in his “last season” things couldn’t end better, playing for the team that drafted him back in 2001 with the third-overall pick, he was the leader of the Kings squad that won the 2020 Philippine Cup – the title that eluded him since the 2007 Philippine Cup.
“Ito yung gusto naming mag-champion kasi All-Filipino. Usually, kasi yung mga last championships namin, may tulong ng import, so mas ibang klase talaga pag All-Filipino. Kapag All-Filipino talagang makikita mo yung chemistry, yung bonding,” he said in an interview.
“All of them are special, but of course, this one is really special dahil you’re in a bubble. Alam naman natin kung gaano kahirap sa bubble. Plus, your away from your family, So, sobrang hirap talaga na mag-champion. Kaya sulit yung pag-stay sa bubble.” He added.
Now that he has the ideal exit, is this the last season for Caguioa?
Well, in an interview recently, he admitted that he wants to play out his 20th Season in the league, however, the final decision on whether he can fulfill his goals or not is in the hands of management.
“Like I said, my target is 20 years. But it’s really up to management. If I need to hang it up, (then so be it), I would still love to play, but di ko rin masasabi. I’m ready for it.” He stated.
Now, at the age of 41, Caguioa is the last of his kind. The last player that came out of the 2001 PBA Draft, and the last player of the last Barangay Ginebra team that won a title before the Tim Cone era in 2008.
He’s also the last MVP of the league before the era of June Mar Fajardo.
In his 18-years in the league (the most seasons played by a player for one team), there is no question, that Caguioa has done it all.
He is a nine-time PBA Champion, he was the MVP of the league in 2012, a 13-time All-Star, three-time Scoring Champion, a member of the PBA 10,000-point club and is part of the PBA 40 Greatest Players.
His influence extends even outside the basketball court. Since you started watching the PBA, every time you hear ‘Barangay Ginebra’, who’s the first player that comes to your mind?
Who’s the guy that embodied and embrace being “the man” of Barangay Ginebra?
Who’s the guy that critics and analysts compare to every time we see a young explosive scorer in the game?
Whether you think it’s time for him to walk away from the game or not.
Whether this is the final time we’ll see him on the court or not. There is no question that once he leaves, everything will no longer be the same.
And just like what the US did for the late great Kobe Bryant, I’d like to give a salute to the legend right away.
To the man that became helped Philippine Basketball reach new heights, cheers MC47.
Would you want to see Caguioa go for 20 seasons? Sound off below in the comment section!