MARK Caguioa truly cherished the PBA Philippine Cup bubble championship of Barangay Ginebra.
Other than it being the first All-Filipino title for the franchise in 13 years, the Kings also did it without resident import Justine Brownlee by their side.
As Caguioa noted, the team's last four titles came with Brownlee at the helm, and it's only now that Ginebra claimed one solely on its own merit and under a rather trying times.
"Ito yung gusto naming mag-champion kasi All-Filipino. Usually kasi yung mga last championships namin, may tulong ng import, so mas ibang klase talaga pag All-Filipino," said the 41-year-old veteran and 2012 MVP.
"Kapag All-Filipino talagang makikita mo yung chemistry, yung bonding."
That bonding Caguioa mentioned couldn't have been more underscored than having to stay and play together inside a bubble and away from their respective families for more than two months.
And while he may be the most decorated player who suited up for Barangay Ginebra in all of his 19 seasons in the league, the latest championship is really on top of the nine titles Caguioa won with the franchise.
"All of them are special, but of course, this one is really special dahil you're in a bubble. Alam naman natin kung gaano kahirap sa bubble. Plus your away from your family," he said.
"So sobrang hirap talaga na mag-champion. Kaya sulit yung pag-stay sa bubble."
Caguioa incidentally, was the only remaining player still with Barangay Ginebra who was part of the last All-Filipino champion team in 2007. (RG)