It’s as if Alex Cabagnot has been with Terrafirma for a long time, with the way he steadied the Dyip late in their 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup meeting with Rain or Shine, Saturday evening at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
With the ball club for just about a month after being traded by San Miguel Beer for Simon Enciso, the 39-year-old once again showed his playmaking wits that enabled him to become one of the league’s best floor generals.
He was responsible for his team’s surge from behind in the extra period through his key dimes in the final 1:32. He dished his first two to Aldrech Ramos for five straight points and then gave Antonio Hester one to make it a 110-104 lead.
Cabagnot finished with 15 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds as Terrafirma earned the 112-106 for its first win in the season-ending conference.
Dyip lead assistant Gian Nazario is simply grateful to the champion guard on their side, whom he calls an on-court extension of the coaching staff .
“We were just lucky to have someone like Alex who can lead, who can be another coach inside the court especially, as we all know, si Coach John [Cardel] is still recovering from his injury,” he said.
As impressive as he was, however, Cabagnot said that he and the team simply stuck to what they’ve been working on altogether, at the same time lauding the composure his much younger teammates showed in the win.
“I just have to give thanks to the coaches. We didn’t run anything out of the ordinary. We stick to the things that we are practicing. We didn’t do anything special,” he said. “We run those plays all the time and it just so happens.
“Aldrech has been in the league for a long time, may composure talaga yun. We have younger guys but these are just games to get your stripes. Hopefully makuha nila yung stripes nila in the PBA and hopefully tuloy-tuloy,” he added.
He’s full of gratitude as well towards the organization for welcoming him with open arms, which allowed him to seamlessly fit in in his new home.
“I got to give thanks to them because they welcomed me with open arms, yung mga coaching staff, yung mga players, the behind-the-scenes, si Ronald, the utility,” he said, referring to team manager Ronald Tubid, his former teammate.
“It was a seamless transition for me and it’s been going well so far. So hopefully tuloy-tuloy na,” added the nine-time PBA champion.
“We can’t celebrate too much kasi we still have a long conference. [But] It’s been great so far.”