One has to be special to last long in the PBA like Mark Caguioa, said Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
Cone said the "Spark" has all the qualities to stay for 18 long seasons in Asia's first play-for-pay league.
"You have to be a special player to be able to last 18 seasons. You really, do," said Cone of Caguioa in the PBA website.
"You have to have a great attitude, because you may not be playing as much but you still have to come to practice and do the work and put it in, challenge your teammates, and do stuff like that. And I think most of all, you have to be a good teammate. And he's all those things."
PBA's winningest coach paid tribute to Caguioa after the 40-year-old achieved milestone by becoming the player with the longest stint in a single franchise at 18 years.
Caguioa, the 2012 MVP, officially began his 18th season with Ginebra when he played his first game in the Philippine Cup bubble in a 105-91 win over Meralco Bolts at the Angeles University Foundation gym last Sunday.
He played for only six minutes and finished with 2 points, but surpassed the previous record of 17 seasons held by Harvey Carey with TNT Tropang Giga and four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio with Purefoods.
He started his PBA career when he was chosen as the league's no. 3 overall pick in the 2001 draft.
"Mark is a special guy, and only a special guy does special things," said Cone.
"That's a record, and that's a testament to his character, playing ability, and his ability to be a great teammate."