ALEX Cabagnot can’t help but feel grateful for being one of the players responsible for planting the seed of the latest San Miguel dynasty in the PBA.
The 34-year-old Cabagnot looked back with a sense of pride at how he and Arwind Santos paved the way for a run of success that saw the Beermen bring home the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy for winning the Philippine Cup championship for a third straight season.
He and Santos, 35, are the only remnants of the San Miguel team in the pre-June Mar Fajardo era that won the season-ending Governors Cup championship and denied the TnT Katropa a grand slam in 2011.
“We’re still here,” he said as he reminisced with SPIN.ph when the Beermen presented the glittering, million-worth Perpetual Trophy to team president and CEO Ramon S. Ang at the SMC headquarters in Ortigas during the weekend.
“Me and my kumpare (Arwind), we’ve been through a lot together. Lot of ups and downs, but yeah, we’re still here.”
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo would join the two a year after – along with Marcio Lassiter, and later on, by Chris Ross - in a move that would set the cornerstone of the franchise, although success didn’t come as quickly as the Beermen had hoped for.
Despite the team teeming with power, success proved elusive in turbulent years that came to be remembered as ‘Petro-novela.’
Worse, Cabagnot was shipped to Globalport in the middle of the 2013-14 season.
“I’ve been traded for a while. I was gone for eight months,” he said.
The parting of ways would not last that long. With a new coach at the helm in Leo Austria, Cabagnot found himself back in the graces of San Miguel prior to the 2014-15 Philippine Cup playoffs.
From there, Cabagnot saw through what he and Santos had earlier planted.
“I came back and won three championships, and this is my fourth one,” he said of the latest Philippine Cup title won by the team after drubbing Barangay Ginebra in the best-of-seven finals, 4-1.
“This is just like, nagbakasyon lang ako ng kaunti,” added Cabagnot, who looks forward to winning a couple more championships with the Beermen.
Cabagnot did take a vacation, literally this time. After meeting up with RSA during the trophy presentation, he immediately left for the US for a well-deserved rest and won’t be back in the country until this week.