ARWIND Santos gets a steal at half court with the ball going to Alex Cabagnot, who then feeds his teammate for a breakaway layup and an insurmountable 92-65 lead early in the fourth quarter. They exchanged high fives as they got back on defense.
It was one play that hardly affected the outcome, but it was a sight that meant everything for San Miguel Beer.
Just like that, and one knows everything’s alright in the Beermen’s camp as the team rolled to a 109-86 victory over Talk ‘N Text in Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Friday night.
In his first game since being traded from GlobalPort and back to a team he played for four years, Cabagnot seemed to pick up from where he left off, scattering 13 points, six boards, six assists, and one block in just 23 minutes off the bench.
Like his showing, the veteran playmaker also stressed he picked up from where he left off on his relationship with Santos amid news they left each other in bad terms.
“We’re good,” said Cabagnot, a godfather to one of Santos’ children. “When we parted ways, there was no bad blood between us. There hasn’t been bad blood between us.”
“Nothing’s changed,” he added. “I just have a lot of experience to bless upon my teammates and if that’s what I could share to help the team, then that’s what I’ll do.”
What concerns him more is mastering the system of coach Leo Austria even after putting on an all-around performance.
“I don’t know half the plays yet,” he admitted after having just three practices with the powerhouse squad. “Ang daming plays ni coach Leo.”
Gladly he’s around teammates who can carry most of the load.
“Arwind played well. June Mar played well,” he said. “I’m just trying to support those guys.”
“Arwind’s going to do Arwind,” he added. “I know how he plays and sana tuloy-tuloy na
“(On the other hand) June Mar’s improvement is night and day. When I left here, he was already one of our go-to guys. But now, he is the go-to guy. It’s evident.”
Cabagnot insisted he didn’t wish to get traded after playing for a Globaport side that won just two games in the last two conferences, before improving to 5-6 in the All-Filipino Cup.
“I was focused on winning (with Globalport).”
Now back with his longtime team, Cabagnot just wants to make up for lost time following a plantar fascia injury that sidelined him in the 2013 Governors’ Cup semifinals, where SMB lost to Rain or Shine.
“Syempre gusto ko bumawi … And it’s more fun if we make it to the finals of the all-Filipino conference.”