The Final Score Mark Caguioa is more than just a Bro

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The Final Score Mark Caguioa is more than just a Bro

Post by spacejam on Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:16 pm

Mark Caguioa is more than just a Bro

It was the kind of duel that leaves people breathless. One either rooted for the staunch defense of the present hierarchy or cheered for the arrival of the new breed. Whose side were you on? Were you hoping that experience and wisdom prevailed? Or were you aching for the mind-bending alternative: that the prodigy obliterated time-tested beliefs?[/font][/color][/justify][justify][font=Arial, Tahoma]

The setting for the extraordinary clash was a Thursday night. It worked just fine since it wasn’t a usual PBA game night anyway. We knew a shootout between Ginebra mainstay Mark Caguioa and Globalport rookie Terrence Romeo was possible. Some of us wanted it to happen. Yet when it did happen in that glorious homestretch of the fourth quarter, we were still stunned.

We felt the difference between imagining something happen and actually witnessing it happen in the culmination of a pulsating game.

When Romeo drove past Caguioa, and every fiber of your body just knew how badly Romeo wanted to drive past Caguioa, like every second and every minute of Romeo’s basketball upbringing were designed to prepare him for that precise moment, it was historic. It was symbolic. The new intrepid one dashed by the original intrepid one. I felt how it shook the PBA time-space continuum.

I imagined how Caguioa, who watched Romeo blitz towards the hoop, might have uttered in his head, “Holy bro, this kid is good.”

Romeo’s layup gave Globalport a 93-91 advantage, their first taste of the lead, with 3:50 left in the game. I understand why people associate Romeo with the term swagger. It’s a valid description. But if you watched Romeo’s performance against Caguioa last November 28, against Ginebra, against every known tradition we have in the PBA, you’ll probably agree: swagger doesn’t do him justice. Kay Romeo, kulang na kulang pa yang salitang swagger na yan.

Romeo was scoring against Ginebra in every imaginable way. He scored while shooting the three. He scored while fading away. He scored while updating his Facebook status on his phone. He scored while checking his Twitter timeline. He scored against Chris Ellis. He scored against LA Tenorio. And then, he scored against Caguioa.

Up until that point, the fourth quarter was a showcase for Romeo’s fearlessness. The layup against Caguioa was Romeo’s 24th point in the game. Coming off a 34-point eruption against Air21, he was showing Ginebra that scoring 34 wasn’t a milestone. He was showing Ginebra that 34 points could be the norm.

Wait a minute.

Teka muna.

Sandali lang.

With less then four minutes left in the game, with Globalport now leading by two, with Ginebra’s perfect record on the line, with a veteran’s reputation momentarily at stake, Caguioa suddenly felt that lightning bolt strike inside his chest. Something got his attention. Someone inspired him to crash through the wall.

“Magpapasapaw ba tayo?”

“Mas maangas ako.”

“I've got to do something.”

Caguioa held the ball on the left side of the court. He was outside the three-point line. He stood face-to-face with Romeo. Experience stared at enthusiasm. The present looked straight at the eyeballs of the future. He understood that this wild-haired rookie was on the verge of leading Globalport to a victory over Ginebra. I imagined what Mark was saying.

So, ikaw pala yung Terrence Romeo.

Okay. Well, you’re good. I’m Mark.

Let’s translate that.

Magaling ka. Caguioa ako.

Caguioa launched a three over Romeo. Bang! Ginebra reclaimed the lead, 94-93.

Moments later, Caguioa hit a jump shot from the top of the key. Ginebra went up by five with less than two minutes left.

“Magpapasapaw ba tayo?”

“Mas maangas ako.”

“I've got to do something.”

In “Ang Parokya” by Parokya ni Edgar featuring Gloc9 and Frank Magalona, Chito Miranda says with equal parts rage, pride and love, “Tumatanda na pero nandito pa rin at habang-buhay kaming maghahasik ng lagim.” Bro, 2013 na at ang Parokya puma-Parokya pa rin. Chito isn’t singing it with resignation. Hindi yung parang, “Hay salamat nandito pa rin kami.” Yung nagpapaawa. No sir. He sings “tumatanda na pero nandito pa rin” with proud, taas-noo, fists out, kagat-labi, let’s-get-it-on defiance.

Parokya ni Edgar is still here.

We’re still here.

Caguioa is still here.

I’m still here.

With less than two minutes left, Caguioa, already in a state of mind that only a Mark Caguioa would understand, drove again. He was covered well. Sadly for Globalport, he wasn’t covered well enough. He looked like he had nowhere to go. He looked like he had to pass to a teammate.

But when you’re 34 (he turned 34 last November 19), and this daring rookie from the other team is trying to score 34 on your team, you don’t ask for help unless you absolutely need it. You need to say, “Don’t worry kids. I've got this.” Caguioa, using his classic will-your-way-to-two-points method, scored while being fouled.

Caguioa made the bonus free throw. Ginebra moved ahead, 103-95.

Naturally, Romeo wanted to reply. So what if he was just playing in his third game in the PBA? So what if Ginebra was up by 8? So what if Caguioa was having a quarter that made legends even more legendary? So what if he was about to crash into 6’11” Greg Slaughter? Romeo bounced off Slaughter, suspended himself in mid-air for as long as scientifically possible and launched a shot. Foul. Swish. Three-point play.

Globalport still had a chance. Ginebra was up, 103-98.

“Ang Parokya” begins with these lines by Miranda:

At tulad ng sabi ko noon walang iwanan
At kahit na anong mangyari, pare steady ka lang
Pangako namin sa inyo tandaan

And ends with these lines by Magalona:

'di ba halata na binasbasan ng Bathala 'sing tibay ng Narra ?
'di natakot mangarap pakinggan niyo'ng Harana, ?
mga kapatirang pariwara na inararo ng drama,
itaga niyo na sana sa bato at mangako na habambuhay

With under a minute left in the game, everyone in the Mall of Asia Arena knew Caguioa would get the ball. It didn’t matter if you cheered for or against Ginebra. You knew the drill. It didn’t matter if you agreed with that drill or not. That divergence has always fueled the Caguioa mystique.

Caguioa launched another three-point shot. Even if he felt the defender hit his leg, he stuck with his follow-through motion the way he has stuck with his principles.

Ikaw si Terrence.

Ako si Mark.

Contact. Follow-through. Three points.


With 14.9 seconds left, Caguioa gave Romeo a low-five as if to say, “I respect you but I needed to beat you.”

Ginebra won, 109-104.

I remember the duels between Caguioa the veteran and Cardona the upstart. I remember the battles between Caguioa the veteran and Cabagnot the newcomer. I remember how Caguioa blasted onto the scene the way Romeo is blasting onto the present. I remember the difference between Caguioa and myself. I’m clinging to my thirties by the edge of my fingernails. He’s thriving in his thirties like 2001 was just two game-days ago.

Romeo finished with 27 points in just 25 minutes.

Caguioa finished with 29 points in just 28 minutes.

Romeo is for real. Even Caguioa will back up this claim. I won’t be surprised if Romeo is secretly aiming to score 83 points (his high school record) in a PBA game. Like I said, kulang talaga yung term na swagger sa kanya.

As for Caguioa, he’s still The Spark the way Bruce Springsteen is still The Boss. Tumatanda na pero, proudly, defiantly, nandito pa rin. I guess that’s how legends work. Ang mga alamat mahirap ipaliwanag pero madaling makita. 34 and still winning games. Hindi na siya Bro. He’s already something so much more.



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Re: The Final Score Mark Caguioa is more than just a Bro

Post by MR. FAST on Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:04 am

MC vs Rookie Cardona
MC vs Rookie Cabagnot
MC vs Rookie Romeo

Ano bang meron si MC na wala yung ibang star player sa PBA? Bakit sa kanya mas madalas kinukumpara yung mga nagpapakitang gilas na mga rookie?

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Re: The Final Score Mark Caguioa is more than just a Bro

Post by garrett_jax on Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:29 am

kahit walang millions moves basta may angas at totoong tao........ hehehe

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Re: The Final Score Mark Caguioa is more than just a Bro

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