Mark Caguioa (PBA Images)

CLARK FREEPORT–Mark Caguioa is not thinking of hanging his jersey soon, and that’s because of his beloved fans who rallied behind him in his 18 seasons so far in the PBA. 

On Sunday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center powered by Smart 5G, the 40-year-old guard of Barangay Ginebra surpassed Alvin Patrimonio and Harvey Carey as the longest-tenured player in a single franchise. 

The 2001 Rookie of the Year saw six minutes and 35 seconds of action in the Kings’ 105-91 thrashing of Meralco for a third straight win in the Philippine Cup. 

“Actually, I don’t even know that (record). Gusto ko lang pasalamatan ‘yung mga fans. It’s the fans that’s making me you know, parang nahihirapan talaga ako mag-retire. It’s because of them. They keep me going,” said Caguioa, who tallied two points and two rebounds. 

The former league MVP said the solid “kabarangays” are always on his mind even though they are just watching from the five LED boards installed at the AUF gym or the comfort of their homes. 

Caguiao admitted getting emotional when thinking about leaving the franchise where he celebrated eight championships and three scoring titles. 

“I just don’t wanna say farewell yet. I wanna say this, just thinking about retiring makes me really sad, emotional, you know, I get that tears,” he said. 

“I just wanna let you guys know that I do, yes I do get sad and I don’t wanna think about that now. But I know, sooner or later, that day will come.” 

Ginebra coach Tim Cone said the management and coaching staff also wanted “The Spark” to stay. 

“We knew he’s gonna come back. We wanted him back because we know what kind of guy he is. He’s just gonna make us better. He’s gonna make the young players better.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (