THE shot at the rare grand slam may be over, but not San Miguel’s campaign and the entire PBA season.
While the proud franchise may have come out short in its bid to make the finals of the Commissioner’s Cup, team captain Alex Cabagnot said the Beermen are ready to move on and get ready to defend their Governors Cup title.
“The grand slam is out of reach obviously. But if you look at the silver lining, last year at around this time, we’re already in vacation,” the veteran guard stressed, obviously referring to the team’s bid in the same tournament last year when they bombed out of the eliminations.
“Now, we’re in the semis. That’s a big jump,” he added. “Obviously you have to look at the silver linings and the positives.”
Cabagnot had 18 points, five rebounds, and eight assists in Sunday’s Game Four of the Beermen’s semifinals series against Rain or Shine. The numbers however, were not enough to save the team’s campaign as it lost to the Elasto Painters, 124-99, to bow out of the best-of-five showdown, 3-1.
The semis loss was a big letdown for the league’s winningest ballclub after coming off an inspiring championship stint in the Philippine Cup when it pulled off the greatest comeback ever in PBA history by overhauling a huge 0-3 deficit against Alaska with a sweep of the finals’ last four games.
For a while, the Beermen appeared to be the favorites to win a second straight title after finishing as the top seeded team at the end of the eliminations.
Come the playoffs however, San Miguel’s campaign imploded, no thanks to the outburst of talented import Tyler Wilkerson that led to his banishment and paved the way for the late entry of two-time Best Import AZ Reid.
Despite the ‘valiant effort’ of Reid – as Cabagnot described – the Elasto Painters were just too tough for the Beermen to overcome.
Besides, “we’ve got to give it to the team that’s most deserving,” Cabagnot said.
The San Miguel starting point guard disclosed the team will take a well-deserved rest and then get ready to defend their title in the season-ending conference.
“We’re gonna re-evaluate, probably watch some films and just continue to learn, kasi it’s just one conference, pero yung whole season ay hindi pa naman tapos,” said Cabagnot, who was with long-time partner Ginger Cornejo.
“We’ll re-evaluate and keep on going.”