GLOBALPORT’S latest move to bring in two tested players in Alex Cabagnot and Bonbon Custodio will add veteran presence to a young franchise still in search of an identity under new coach Pido Jarencio.
Fil-Am forward Jay Washington said the trade decision was management’s own way of putting the pieces together that would make the Batang Pier more competitive in the coming Commissioner’s Cup.
“It’s (new trades) a new challenge. I mean, I felt like last conference (Philippine Cup), we were competitive,” Washington told Spin.ph after Wednesday’s practice at the Moro Lorenzo gym.
“But really, like all the games we played, we’re in the game for the first three quarters, and it came down to the last six or seven minutes of the fourth quarter. For me it’s game experience, not having the guys with the experience, not really knowing where we’re going or what we’re doing, I think that’s the biggest factor.”
The 6-foot-7 forward out of Eckerd College did pretty well during the Philippine Cup, putting in MVP-like numbers of 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steals in 35.6 minutes - all career-high stats for the nine-year veteran, who incidentally, is in the running for the Best Player of the Conference award.
Washington though missed the team’s last two games in the elimination round and during the quarterfinals after partially tearing his plantar fasciia.
With Cabagnot joining the Batang Pier following the one-on-one trade with San Miguel in exchange for Sol Mercado, Washington feels they’ve got a solid playmaker who can work well with rookie guards Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia and freshman forward Nico Salva.
Washington and Cabagnot of course, were no strangers to each other, having been part of the Petron squad that won the franchise’s 19th league title during the 2011 Governors Cup.
The sweet-shooting Globalport forward describes the championship as the “good ole days,” which he hopes the two of them could bring to the Batang Pier with comebacking import Evan Brock in tow.
With the 6-foot-8 Brock tapped to reinforce the Batang Pier, Washington looks forward to seeing Cabagnot, Romeo, and Garcia pushing the tempo of the game, the way Jarencio envisions this young team to be for the mid-season tournament.
“I think we’re gonna be more of a rugged team to win games. We have to be kind of like Rain or Shine. Physical, banging, and a lot of ruggedness, but not dirty,” he said.
“Plus, one of our strengths is being able to run, being on transition because even Evan can run a lot.”