By Jonas Terrado
Mark Caguioa announced Monday that he will return for one more season with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
The 40-year-old guard made the announcement during Ginebra’s victory celebration at the Metrotent in Ortigas where fans gathered to savor the team’s third PBA Governors’ Cup title in four years following a 4-1 series defeat of Meralco.
Caguioa bared his plans to suit up for a 19th PBA campaign after holding talks with San Miguel Corporation Sports Director Alfrancis Chua in the days following the title victory.
Only Robert Jaworski (24 seasons), Abet Guidaben (21), Ramon Fernandez (20) and Asi Taulava (20) have played more seasons than Caguioa.
“Coach Al pulled me aside, sinabi niya sa akin na he’s gonna give me one more year,” said Caguioa, drawing loud cheers from the audience.
He averaged 2.7 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 0.2 steals in 23 games this conference but revered by Ginebra teammates for his leadership and locker room presence.
Selected third overall in the 2001 Draft, Caguioa is the winningest player in Ginebra history with eight championships, six of which while pairing with good friend Jayjay Helterbrand.
The 2012 Most Valuable Player later paid tribute to his teammates for their dedication during Ginebra’s title run.
“These guys, hindi niyo nakikita kung anong nangyayari. These guys work so hard,” Caguioa told the audience.