VETERAN playmaker Alex Cabagnot admitted on Wednesday that he was stunned by the trade that sent him from Petron/San Miguel Beer to GlobalPort, but nonetheless welcomed the challenge of playing for a young franchise like the Batang Pier.
The shifty guard and three-point gunner was welcomed warmly in practice by his new teammates along with Bonbon Custodio, a day after joining the team in a seven-player, four-team trade that had Rico Maierhofer and Sol Mercado moving over to San Miguel, among others.
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“(The trade) came a little bit as an ‘I-didn’t-see-it-coming,' but when it did sink in, I just have to be a pro, go to the next team and try to do what I did with Petron and my other teams before." Globalport guard Alex Cabagnot
"It (trade) came a little bit as an ‘I-didn’t-see-it-coming,' but when it did sink in, I just have to be a pro, go to the next team and try to do what I did with Petron and my other teams before,” explained the 31-year-old left-handed guard.
“I’ve been in the league for so long na and you never really know what’s gonna happen,” he added. “You just want to give your best, and you pray to God you’ll stay (with Petron), but God willing naman, (new GlobalPort) coach Pido (Jarencio) wanted me."
The six-foot guard out of the University of Hawaii-Hilo will not be a total stranger at GlobalPort, where he will be reunited with Jarencio - a former assistant at Petron - as well as fellow Fil-American Jay Washington, a teammate for four seasons with the Boosters.
He joined the Batang Pier in practice for the first time at the Moro Lorenzo Gym inside the Ateneo campus then spent another hour polishing his outside shooting as he embraced the challenge of trying to establish himself as a major component of the Mikee Romero-owned ballclub.
Another challenge, he said, is learning Jarencio's system as he joins rookies RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo in GlobalPort's backcourt. At least the transition period from one coach to another is no longer new to Cabagnot, who over the past season has dealt with three changes to the Petron coaching staff.
“It was a good first day of practice. I got to know some plays and coach Pido’s (Jarencio) system. It’s a new look from the Petron (team), but I’m excited to take on this new challenge,” Cabagnot told Spin.ph. “I’m looking forward to putting in with coach Pido’s system, test the system and stuffs like that.”
Cabagnot will get the chance to play for the first time with his new teammates beginning on Friday when Globalport sees action in a four-team pocket tournament in Cebu along with Talk ‘N Text, Alaska as well as a Cebu commercial squad.
“A pocket tournament like that in Cebu would be really beneficial for us, especially me coming in, para malaman ko ang tendencies ng teammates ko,” said the league’s second overall rookie pick in 2005 who averaged 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists in the last Philippine Cup.