Mark Caguioa is definitely a franchise player of Barangay Ginebra. (PBA Image)

ANGELES CITY–Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa reached a milestone in his PBA Philippine Cup bubble debut Sunday as he became the first player to play 18 seasons for a lone franchise. 

The 40-year-old Caguioa checked in with 6:35 left in Ginebra’s game against Meralco, enabling him to break the previous record of 17 seasons played for a single team held by both Alvin Patrimonio (Purefoods) and Harvey Carey (TNT).  

The former league MVP finished with two points and two rebounds as the Kings crushed their Governor’s Cup rivals Bolts, 105-91, for a share of the lead with their third straight win at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center powered by Smart 5G. 

Ginebra coach Tim Cone did not know that Caguioa made history, but wasn’t surprised that he achieved it.  

“Mark is a special guy and only a special guy does special things. That’s a record. To me, it’s a testament to his character, playing ability and ability to be a great teammate,” said Cone. 

“I mean you have to be a special player and a special person to be able to last 18 seasons. I really do. You have to be well-liked,” he added.    

The grand-slam winning mentor admitted he had a bad impression of the eight-time PBA champion when he was still coaching in the other teams.

But that quickly changed when he jumpshipped to the storied franchise, which made Caguiao the third overall pick in the 2001 draft. . 

“Honestly, when I was on the other team I kind of thought he was konting mayabang. Fast and Furious (referring to the tandem of Caguioa and former Ginebra player Jayjay Helterbrand). We all hated them,” said Cone. 

“But now I’m here I realized what a great guy he is. Truly. I never knew him before I came to the team. That was probably the biggest surprise I felt when I came to Ginebra. It was to find out what kind of person Mark Caguioa was. He’s such a joy to be around.” 

Source: Manila Bulletin (