Playing with a sense of urgency in each of the three games in the semi-final, Alex Cabagnot has brought his shot-making ability to a whole new dimension and it has helped the San Miguel Beermen against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
In Game 3 Monday which San Miguel won, 114-108, the fine quarterbacking was once again on display, and Cabagnot added a driving game to help create more good looks for the Beermen. Most of the penetration came from June Mar Fajardo ball screens at the high post, and from there an attack followed by a kick-out would disrupt the Elasto Painters defense.
Cabagnot, who scored 13 in the first quarter alone, finished with 26 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, and was a plus-15 in the match. Asked about the big game statistically, Cabagnot said he just wanted to help create for his team.
“I don’t think there’s one thing which can make or break this team. It is a collective effort. You have to make adjustments on the fly and adapt. I just had to find ways to help my teammates,” he said.
“The team just stuck together and it is kind of deflating to lose a 24-point lead so we kept our eyes on the prize and made the right adjustments. We just came together as a unit.”
The veteran point guard is averaging 15 points and 10 assists per game in three outings in the semi-final, accounting for about a third of the entire team’s total output.
Not only is he changing the way the defense reacts, but he is also making his teammates look better with one pass after another.
“I had full confidence in Alex and I know he can do those type of things on the court. He set the tone for us early and I imagine it kind of changed the some of the strategy for Rain or Shine. He played great system ball today,” Marcio Lassiter, who scored 17 points on 4-for-6 triples, said.
With one win away from another finals appearance, Cabagnot hopes the Beermen once again play as a unit.
“I am just fortunate that we won today. Hopefully we could close it out on Wednesday. There were a lot of stuff we saw on tape (in Game 2) and had some issues on defense. I am glad we corrected it.”
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