Caguioa makes Kings look good

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Caguioa makes Kings look good

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Thu May 24, 2012 6:01 pm

Caguioa makes Kings look good
Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:00
Written by NOLI CORTEZ

MARK Caguioa made a grand return to Ginebra and so did Allein Maliksi.

And with Cedric Bozeman proving to be as good as advertised, the Kings had little trouble disposing off Air21 103-85 last night in their PBA Governors Cup debut at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Wearing a pair of protective glasses to protect the eye he injured last March 30, Caguioa scored 15 points, each of his five baskets giving tremendous boost to the perennial crowd favorites.

“Mark has always been one of the focal points ng team kaya it’s really a blessing na nabigyan siya agad ng clearance para makapaglaro,” said Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen. “Mark has always been the soul of this team. Malaking bagay talagang maglaro siya.”

Caguioa was just glad to be playing again.

“It feels good to be back on the court again,” said the star guard, who came in at the 5:32 mark of the first period and promptly buried his first shot, a buzzer-beating straightaway triple, with only 2:03 left in the canto.

“It felt good,” he related. “When it went in, I was mentally thinking magiging okay na ako for the whole game.”

Having had only about eight practices with the team, Caguioa admitted
he is just at about 80 percent game-shape and still needs to take
medication for the intermittent headaches his injury brought about.

“Wala pa sa kundisyon,” he said. “A few more games, I’ll be all
right. Wala na namang pain, but there’s still a little bit of headache.”

Maliksi was not to be left out as he added 11 of his 13 in the fourth
period to spark Ginebra’s runaway win and become one of the key backups
to Bozeman’s team-high 29 points and game-high 13 rebounds.

Zach Graham wound up with 31 points to lead all scorers and also
grabbed 12 rebounds, but did not have the same kind of support his
former teammate with the Reno Bighorns had as Air21 dropped its opening
assignment for the second time in three conferences.

Tanquingcen and Caguioa quickly pointed out the game could hardly be used as a gauge, however, of their title chances.

“Tingnan natin kapag ang kalaban mas malakas na team. Du’n makikita kung saan puwede ang team,” said Caguioa.

Although it never gained the upperhand, Air21 managed to make a game of it, whittling what was once a 19-ppoint deficit to just 81-91, still a good 4:03 left.

After a timeout, Bozeman used the baseline as his approach for a dunk and Mike Cortez boomed in a triple from the left corner to quell the threat.

It was much tighter in the first half as the Express charged back to within 39-42 after Caguioa’s four straight points made it a 34-24 game.

Dylan Ababou then promptly drained a triple and Ginebra’s defense held, making it just a six-point game at the turn.

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