Alex Cabagnot unshaken despite San Miguel's uncharacteristic second-half meltdown
SMB guard Alex Cabagnot stayed upbeat after the Game One loss. Jaime Campos

DESPITE allowing Game One to slip away from its grip, San Miguel remains upbeat about retaining the PBA Governors Cup title.

Alex Cabagnot said the Beermen’s confidence and focus remain very much intact even in the aftermath of their 115-108 loss to Barangay Ginebra in the opener of their best-of-five semifinals duel.

The reigning champions led by as many as 13 points at 39-26 in the first half, but collapsed late in the third quarter onwards when the Kings stepped on the gas pedal and started scoring off transition plays behind the ‘small ball’ rotation of veteran LA Tenorio, rookie Scottie Thompson, and Sol Mercado.

Ginebra ended up outscoring San Miguel off turnover points, 22-13, and committed lesser turnovers, 11-16.

[See Mercado, Brownlee spark Ginebra comeback vs SMB in Game One]

Yet, Cabagnot said the Beermen won’t lose a sleep over a game they should have easily won.

“Obviously, it’s (still) there,” said Cabagnot when asked if the Beermen are still positive about their chances against the suddenly rejuvenated Kings, who many consider are the underdogs in the series.

“If it’s not there, then we would lose this series.”

Cabagnot’s optimism was borne from the fact the Beermen almost overhauled an 80-92 fourth quarter deficit behind his hot three-point shooting.

The veteran guard finished with 20 points and was 6 of 9 from three-point range, his last trey moving the Beermen to within 102-105.

But a crucial travelling call on big man June Mar Fajardo paved the way for a huge three-pointer by Sol Mercado at the other end for a 108-102 Ginebra lead it would never relinquished.

Cabagnot would like to believe the game was simply not for the Beermen.

“I just know they played their hearts out and we just came short,” he said.

[See Mercado warns Ginebra mustn't ease up on gas peal vs SMB]

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos