Barangay Ginebra superstar Mark Caguioa was named the PBAâs Most Valuable Player for 2011-12, beating Poweradeâs Gary David, B-MEGâs James Yap, and Petronâs Arwind Santos for the leagueâs top individual honor.
Caguioa, the 2001 Rookie of the Year, won two Best Player of the Conference awards this season, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 41 games for the Gin Kings.
In a fateful coincidence, Caguioa won the award at 32 years old, the same age Ginebra legend Robert Jaworski won MVP in 1978. Earlier this month, Jaworski was feted by the team in a jersey retirement ceremony, where he presented a token to Caguioa in a symbolic passing of the torch.
In his speech, Caguioa saved his biggest thanks for Ginebra fans. âSa inyong sigawan, tilian, at palakpakan, doon ako kumukuha ng inspirasyon,â he said.
Caguioa told the AKTV Center panel after the ceremony that he owed the award to the fans. âI think the fans wanted this more than me, kaya para sa kanila talaga âto.â
Rain or Shine hotshot Paul Lee, the No. 2 overall choice in last yearâs draft, beat out top pick JVee Casio of Powerade for the Rookie of the Year honors.
Leeâs teammate, Jeff Chan, took home individual hardware as well, winning the Most Improved Player award, while Casio won the Sportsmanship Award.
Caguioa, David, Yap, Santos, and Ranidel De Ocampo of Talk âN Text composed the leagueâs First Mythical Team, while Lee, Chan, Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro of Rain or Shine, Sonny Thoss of Alaska were named to the Second Mythical Team.
Marc Pingris of B-MEG, Doug Kramer of Barako Bull, Arwind Santos, Jireh Ibanes of Rain or Shine, and Ryan Reyes of Talk âN Text were named to the All-Defensive Team.