DIEGO Dario feels fortunate to have someone like San Miguel's Alex Cabagnot who became a mentor during his collegiate days.
Dario is one of three players from University of the Philippines who are applying for the PBA Rookie Draft which will be held on Sunday at the Robinson’s Place in Manila.
The 21-year-old Dario admitted Cabagnot was one of those persons who he asked for advice on whether he will apply in the PBA draft or not following the Maroons’ finals loss to Ateneo in UAAP Season 81.
“Basically, nag-rest lang ako. Tapos nag-decide ako. Marami akong kinausap. Si Kiefer (Ravena), coach Alex (Cabagnot), parents ko, coach Ronnie (Magsanoc), at si coach Allan (Gregorio), ‘yung two days na ‘yun, doon ako nag-decide kung magpapa-draft ako.
“From that point on, after two days rest, back to workouts na ako to get better again for the PBA,” said Dario on Friday during the SLAM Draft Suite.
Dario said the pieces of advice he got, particularly from Cabagnot, who is part of the UP coaching staff, was huge in his decision.
“Sabi niya sa akin, just make sure to continue to get better every day. ‘Yung mga habits na ginagawa niya, he made sure na mapaalam niya sa akin to help me. Sabi niya, you are ready na for the PBA. Someone na veteran in the PBA, sinundan ko na ‘yung advice niya,” Dario said.
The 5-foot-8 Dario is happy to have the San Miguel Beermen point guard helping him in his dream to make it to the PBA.
“Sobrang grateful na may opportunity to have an Alex Cabagnot in our team. He has been there since three years ago. He has been helping me prepare not just in the UAAP but also in the PBA. I’m sure he wants everyone to make it in basketball. He is a big brother and a mentor for me,” said Dario.
As for what he wants to become in the PBA, Dario said: “Someone who plays pesky defense. I’ll make sure I did pressure defense. Someone who hits open shots, who can make open shots, and set up plays for the team.”