Cone on latest 10k-point club member Caguioa: I wished I coached him earlier
Mark Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra tries to drive past Kenneth Ighalo of NLEX in the nightcap of Friday's PBA hostilities at the Araneta Coliseum.
PBA Media Bureau
Cone on latest 10k-point club member Caguioa: I wished I coached him earlier
Denison Rey A. Dalupang ( - October 6, 2018 - 7:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA’s winningest head coach said he is honored to have seen Mark Caguioa make his 10,000th point.

But he was also sad, for the historic feat made him realize how deep their partnership would’ve been if they got paired in an earlier circumstance.

“I’m real happy to be a part of it, and I’m sad that I’m only been able to coach him for the last couple of years. I would’ve loved to have coached him when he was younger and in the prime of his career,” Cone told the press shortly after the Barangay Ginebra dominated NLEX to solidify their hold of the top spot in the Governors’ Cup (6-1).

“But I’ll take what I can get,” the decorated tactician quickly added.

Cone and and Caguioa’s partnership as mentor and ward unraveled only in late 2015 when the former moved on from his coaching at the Magnolia franchise. By then, Caguioa was already in his 13th season.

The pair, after some roster revamps and botched campaigns, finally captured a title in the 2016 Governors’ Cup. They followed it up with another conference championship the following year and are now looking poised for a  three-peat despite being severly depleted by injuries.

“Mark’s just been a great, great person on the team. He’s sacrificed so much since I’ve been here. And I love him to death. He’s a good person more than being just a basketball player. He’s got a big heart. I think that’s why the fans have loved him so much throughout the years,” Cone said of his veteran guard.

Cone also admitted that everyone was so invested with Caguioa securing the two points needed fo join the elite club that they were so mired in disarray in the fourth period.

“Poor guy’s catching the ball trying to beat five guys every time to get those two points. But we finally called a timeout and said ‘Let’s get it through our offense’ and then he got a good look from a kickout from Scottie, knocked it down and history was made,” he shared.

“Now we’re going to Meralco (game) clear-minded, not focused on that anymore. Make him work on his next 10,000,” he added in jest.

Cone went on to praise Caguioa one more time, and interestingly, he made quite the declaration as well.

“With Mark, you’ll never know, man,” Cone offered. “He could play ’til he’s 50. Mark’s really special in terms of his body and what he does for it. He could really play until he’s 50—follow the line of ‘The Big J.’”

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