MANILA, Philippines – Prince Caperal was one of the few bright spots in Barangay Ginebra's 90-102 Game 1 loss to the San Miguel Beermen in their best-of-7 semifinals series Friday, March 9.
Without star center Greg Slaughter, Caperal provided quality minutes for the Gin Kings as he registered 8 points on a 3-of-6 shooting and 5 rebounds in nearly 12 minutes of action.
The 24-year-old big man, a late conference acquisition from league cellar dwellers Kia Picanto, got a taste of going up against June Mar Fajardo.
He had a hand in limiting the reigning 4-time Most Valuable Player to a personal conference-low 9 points but admitted they can only do as much in clamping down on Fajardo.
"June Mar will be June Mar," said Caperal.
"Grabe, sobrang dominante. So, iiskor at iiskor 'yan, so sa amin lang at least mahirapan siya at hindi ganoon kadali siyang umiskor, syempre para mapagod din namin siya."
(He was very dominant. He will score so for us, we want to at least make him work hard for his baskets and he gets tired in the process.)
Slaughter, who is still suffering from an ankle injury, is uncertain for Game 2 while Mark Caguioa and Paolo Taha have both sustained respective injuries. This means there is a possibility Caperal will see action again in the coming games.
"Lagi lang ready. Importante naman iyon this series," said Caperal.
(I am always ready. That is very important in this series.)
"I'll do my work sa amin na to stay ready at maging kondisyon para kung sakali mang tawagin number ko, maging maganda performance ko."
(I'll do my work to stay ready and conditioned so whenever my number gets called, I can deliver again.)
Ginebra seeks to even the series when it meets San Miguel on Sunday, March 11, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.