San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria said that the team is not rushing Alex Cabagnot to return to action from a knee injury.
The champion mentor disclosed that they have listed the veteran floor general as day-to-day following his check-up with the doctor recently.
“The other day, he was able to have a checkup with the doctor and I was informed by our PT what happened doon sa checkup niya. Sabi ng doctor, give him a few days. Day-to-day basis siya eh,” Austria said Friday.
“But we’re not rushing him dahil ang injury, hindi naman kailangan madaliin ‘yan eh,” added the many-time Coach of the Year.
“What we want from him is to get him back ready to play and ready to help the team.”
Cabagnot has not played since the PBA Philippine Cup resumption in Bacolor. He suffered a slight meniscal tear and sprained ligaments on his knee after slipping during their 99-80 win over Blackwater last July 28 in Pasig.
Still, the Beermen were able to rack up wins in the Pampanga semi-bubble. But the team suffered yet another blow to its backcourt rotation. This time, Terrence Romeo got hurt in Friday’s dominant 110-80 conquest of Phoenix.
So, that’s two fewer star guards for SMB, leaving Chris Ross as the only other veteran playmaker. And that has prompted Austria to look for other viable options for the one spot as he braces for the worst.
And the 63-year-old bench tactician immediately found one in the seasoned Paul Zamar, using him for over 21 minutes against the Fuel Masters. The former ABL Heritage Import had five points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Austria will definitely need to dig deeper in his arsenal as the Beermen (6-3) aim for a better seeding for the quarterfinals.
“That’s why we had the opportunity to field some players, especially Paul. Kailangan ma-develop ‘yung confidence niya, kaya humaba’ yung playing time niya ngayon in preparation for our next game,” he said.
“Dahil as of now, kulang na kulang talaga kami sa point guard. Si Alex eh, we’re not sure kung kailan pa makakabalik. Terrence, we don’t know yet kung kailan siya makakapaglaro ulit. But I’m praying and hoping na hindi seryoso.”