Cyrus Baguio glad to play in front of hometown crowd as PBA All-Star Week tips off in CDO

April 26, 2017 - 3:25 PM
PBA Media Bureau

CAGAYAN DE ORO – With this year’s PBA All-Star festivities having stops in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the annual showcase has given participants an opportunity to showcase their wares in front of their kababayans.

Team Mindanao member Cyrus Baguio, who hails from Iligan City, a two-hour drive from CDO, is happy that he’ll get the chance to showcase his skills to his family who is expected to watch him live at the Xavier University Gym on Wednesday night as his squad clash with Gilas Pilipinas.

“Syempre, masaya ako dahil nakabalik ako sa All-Star. Maganda yung format ng PBA ngayon yung hinahati-hati nila yung Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. Masaya ako dahil makikita ko na naman yung pamilya ko. Malapit lang kasi kami dito sa Cagayan de Oro. I’m sure, manonood sila,” the 36-year-old veteran told InterAksyon.

Coming from a clan with rich basketball pedigree, the Phoenix FuelMaster is a nephew of the late Ric-Ric Marata, who played for Alaska, Swift and Sunkist in the PBA. Marata’s other brothers – Samuel and Bong – also played in the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League.

Baguio said his uncle played a big role during his early days as a player.

“Si Tito Ric-Ric yung nagdala sa akin, kasi nga si Coach Aric (del Rosario), assistant coach sa Alaska dati tapos siya yung coach sa UST,” Baguio said.

Baguio admitted that he has not been home for a long time and will try to use this opportunity to be with his relatives as well as friends.

“Yung iba (relatives, kaibigan) sa Facebook na lang, tawag-tawag,” Baguio said.

But the nine-time All-Star and former slam dunk champion has a problem: “Manonood sila. Problema ko nga ngayon saan kukuha ng mga tickets eh. Pero marami naman siguro silang makukuhanan.”

Baguio is not the only Team Mindanao member who had a homecoming of sorts in the CDO leg of this year’s All-Star Week.

Carlo Lastimosa, Glenn Khobuntin and Jio Jalalon all grew up and honed their skills playing street basketball in nearby provinces.

Lastimosa started playing in Xavier University where he immediately became a star player before being recruited by College of Saint Benilde in Manila.

Khobuntin once suited up for Cagayan De Oro College while NLEX teammate Jalalon also had a stint with Sacred Heart in CDO.

Also spearheading the Mindanao All-Stars to be handled by Star coach Chito Victolero are top All-Star vote-getter Mark Barroca, Scottie Thompson, PJ Simon, Rafi Reavis, Sonny Thoss, Baser Amer, Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario.

They’re going up against a Gilas side composed of June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo, LA Revilla, Mike Tolomia, RR Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Kevin Ferrer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Alfonso Gotladera and Bradwyn Guinto.