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June Mar, Caguioa near PBA milestone

By Jonas Terrado

Game Tomorrow
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
6:30 p.m. – San Miguel vs Ginebra

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals could witness San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Mark Caguioa join a pair of elite companies provided they continue piling up the points at least for the next two games beginning last night.

Fajardo entered Game 4 of the series being played at presstime at the Smart Araneta Coliseum needing just 14 points to become the 86th local and 90th overall to reach the 5,000-point club while Caguioa needs 34 points to join 14 others in the more-exclusive 10,000-point club.

Getting to 5,000 seems like cherry pickings for Fajardo, obviously with his stature as the league’s reigning four-time Most Valuable Player and was expected to be named the Best Player of the Conference for the seventh time in his career.

Fajardo is averaging 20.0 points and 12.3 rebounds per game in the finals, but his work has been made a lot easier with teammates Renaldo Balkman, Christian Standhardinger, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos stepping up.

Meanwhile, it may take a while before Caguioa gets to reach the five-figure mark.

Minutes have been scare for Caguioa over the past few seasons, and this conference was no different after posting 3.1 points in 7.2 minutes per contest in the eliminations.

But the Finals has enabled Ginebra fans to evoke memories of the Caguioa of old.

Caguioa entered Game 4 averaging 7.7 points, being a surprise lift for a Ginebra team that is begging for more production from its top locals, namely LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar to name a few.

The 39-year-old went for nine of his 11 points in the first half as Ginebra took Game 1, 127-99, last July 27.

Caguioa went scoreless in the 134-109 defeat in Game 2 before posting 12 points while delighting fans when he dive for the looseball in the first half, only to witness San Miguel take a 2-1 lead with a 132-94 triumph.

Tenorio, Cabagnot, Santos and Caguioa are current players in the finals who are part of the 5,000-point club.

Caguioa is aiming to join the great Robert Jaworski as the only players to score 10,000 career points while wearing the Ginebra uniform. Jaworski, who is ninth on the all-time PBA list with 11,760 points, did the trick in 1989.

Ramon Fernandez remains as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 18,996 points while joining rival Abet Guidaben (15,775) and Alvin Patrimonio (15,091) as the only members of the 15,000-point club.