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2018 pba philippine cup semifinals game 1 – nlex def magnolia – cyrus baguio
2018 pba philippine cup semifinals game 1 – nlex def magnolia – cyrus baguio

Basketball

Cyrus Baguio turns back hands of time in NLEX’s first-ever semis win


Cyrus Baguio played like he was in the early 2000s Saturday night, bringing his old self back to help the NLEX Road Warriors earn their first-ever semifinals victory over the Magnolia Hotshots in Game One of their best-of-seven series.

The 37-year-old, now without his famed No Fear headband that he used to rock, produced a team-best 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting along with five rebounds and four steals in NLEX’s 88-87 win.

“Oo nga eh (throwback performance),” said Baguio, who is averaging 5.0 points per game for the conference. “Pero alam mo yun. Inaano ko talaga na pag pinasok ka ni coach kailangan ready ka talaga eh… Nasa utak ko lagi na maka-contribute, makatulong ako sa team.

“Kanina medyo naging okay yung start ko. Siguro pinaka importante yun eh –maka[shoot] ka ng unang basket. So doon ko nakuha yung kumpyansa ko kanina. Nagtuloy-tuloy lang,” added the 15-year league veteran.

Even head coach Yeng Guiao was all praises for Baguio — whom he had coached before in Red Bull where they won multiple titles together — as he and the Road Warriors finally had the chance to see Baguio explode on offense.

“Matagal na naming iniintay yung ganitong laro kay Cyrus,” said the veteran mentor.

“Actually, Cyrus is a steady influence even if he’s not scoring, his defending, he’s getting the rebounds, his quiet leadership is there.”

Super rookie Kiefer Ravena, who emerged as Game One’s hero, also tipped his hat to the 10-time All-Star.

“Kuya Cyrus stepped up big time. It’s nice to see Cyrus — vintage No Fear-headband Cyrus Baguio yung naglalaro kanina.”

Baguio, meanwhile, is simply glad that he was able to help the Road Warriors Saturday night. And now, he sets his focus for Game Two on Monday, March 12, where he hopes he and NLEX would be able to earn a 2-0 lead.

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“Importante yung panalo na to. Naka-una na kami. So sana makuha pa namin yung Game Two,” the six-foot-two shooting guard hoped. “[Pero] Mahaba itong series. Alam ko gagamitin pa rin ni coach yung halos lahat ng mga players.

“So expect mo pa na lalalim pa yung rotation sa next games namin.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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