(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
After all, he is the point guard of the best all-Filipino starting unit in the PBA
June Mar Fajardo may be the MVP but the offense of the San Miguel Beermen always begins with their point guard, Alex Cabagnot. In fact, whether the starting line-up of the Beermen is intact with Fajardo, Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, and Arwind Santos, chances are whoever is playing against them will be having a long night ahead of them because you're playing against a San Miguel team which has the best and most formidable all-Filipino starting 5. And frankly speaking, that fact has yet to be disputed as no other team in the league has that same amount of talent in their starting unit which San Miguel also the best all-local crew.
As mentioned, Alex Cabagnot has been running the offense for Coach Leo Austria and in fact, he led the Beermen to a Commissioner's Cup championship last season where he also won the Finals MVP award. This conference, Cabagnot has missed 6 games due to a foot injury, In that span, the Beermen won 4 of those 6 games, only losing to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and surprisingly, to the Blackwater Elite.
Although he returned to the line-up against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last night when he scored 13 points while playing for 30 minutes, it was Rain or Shine who won which enabled them to clinch a spot in the next round. Mind you, Rain or Shine won despite missing James Yap who is out with a calf injury. The g
Good news though for the Beermen, they have already locked up the number 1 seed which comes with the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Why is Alex Cabagnot important for the Beermen's championship aspirations?
It's simple. He has been leading the Beermen to countless victories, championships including the first two of the last season and all of the last 3 Philippine Cup championships. Championship experience as they call it.
But more than that, Cabagnot is also one of the most stable players at the point guard position despite his age of 35 years-old. While he only played 5 games this conference, he made the most out of those games by averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Sure, Chris Ross may have been leading the league in assists per game this conference but we all know how good Alex Cabagnot in creating scoring opportunities for the Beermen on top of his deadly capability to knock down long bombs.
Alex Cabagnot is already 35 years-old and yet, he's contributing to the Beermen's success. If he can stay healthy and the Beermen will remain hungry for more championships once the playoffs kick off, this pundit won't be surprised at all if San Miguel will hoist another trophy soon.