PBA Philippine Cup

Caperal rises to occasion as Ginebra stays alive

Delfin Dioquino
Caperal rises to occasion as Ginebra stays alive

STEP UP. Prince Caperal ends his slump as he submits his finest performance in the PBA Philippine Cup.

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Defending champion Barangay Ginebra gets a timely boost from Prince Caperal to clinch the last quarterfinal berth in the PBA Philippine Cup

Prince Caperal has taken a back seat in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Named the Most Improved Player after helping Barangay Ginebra rule the all-Filipino conference last season, Caperal saw his minutes dwindle this year as the team added star big man Christian Standhardinger.

But when called upon, Caperal delivers.

Caperal churned out a game-high 19 points as Ginebra clinched the last quarterfinal seat with a 95-85 win over Phoenix in their one-game playoff on Saturday, September 25.

“I trust coach and coach trusts us. I work hard no matter if I play or not. I’m always ready,” Caperal said in Filipino.

Prior to his finest performance of the conference, Caperal hit a slump as he went scoreless in their last three games, a stretch that left Ginebra on the brink of elimination.

But with their title-retention bid on the line, Caperal found his footing, knocking down a team-high 3 triples and hauling down 4 boards.

It was a timely resurgence from Caperal as Ginebra badly missed the presence of ace forward Japeth Aguilar, who has been ruled out for the rest of the Philippine Cup due to a knee injury.

“Coach always tells us that when a player is down, we need to have a next-man-up mentality. That has been my mantra ever since. When a teammate is down, I have to step up to the game plan,” Caperal said.

“We showed what Ginebra is about in this game.”

The road to a title repeat only gets tougher for Ginebra as it needs to win two in a row in the quarterfinals against TNT, which owns a twice-to-beat advantage as the top seed. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

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.