BOCAUE, Bulacan – Thousands of Filipino fans braved the inclement weather on Monday to watch the 2018 FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup – and San Miguel guard Alex Cabagnot was among them.
The "Crunchman" was in attendance as the Philippine men's team split its final two assignments on Pool C, missing out on a spot in the quarterfinals but not before providing the home crowd with a final show.
The Philippine team – Christian Standhardinger, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, and Stanley Pringle – wrapped up their schedule with a 19-12 rout of third-seeded Russia, much to the delight of the fans.
"I'm really happy for them," said Cabagnot. "They're representing the country really well."
On coming to the Philippine Arena, he said: "I want to see it up close, especially with the best in the world. It's physical, and it's great for the fans. Masarap panoorin."
Cabagnot, 35, has yet to represent the Philippines in international basketball, but the 3x3 game is a fascinating prospect for the San Miguel point guard.
He figures to be a great fit for the game with his shot-making skills, as Cabagnot is a threat from virtually anywhere on the floor. His mastery of the pick-and-roll is also a massive advantage, given how the 3x3 game is played.
Cabagnot won't deny that he is interested in possibly playing 3x3 basketball for the country at some point.
"Siyempre naman," he said. "I'm just a basketball fanatic, and something like this, 3x3, you're representing the country."
"The way I saw how physical they were, I don't know. I definitely want to try it if I get the opportunity to," he added.
The veteran guard appreciated the "unconventional" nature of 3x3 basketball, which features just a 10-minute game clock. The team that scores 21 points first, or whoever scores most at the end of the 10 minutes, is the winner.
Over the past four days at the Philippine Arena, Pinoy fans saw how physical and exciting 3x3 was, with several games going down the wire.
"There's different tactics and different strategies," Cabagnot noted. "You could easily be good, even though you didn't make it (to 5-on-5) or whatever you do in 5-on-5, you still have a great chance in 3x3."
"It doesn't necessarily mean na 'yung mga chances mo at 5-on-5, 'yung chances mo in 3x3 is slimmer. But it's a lot different," he added.
But while he enjoys watching 3x3 and is open to the possibility of playing in a 3x3 tournament for the Philippines someday, Cabagnot does not want to step on anyone's toes right now. More than anything, he was simply impressed with the Philippine team for how they performed in the World Cup.
"They are doing pretty well," he said. "I'm proud of them."
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