Amid ‘Last Dance’ craze, Cabagnot says this PBA player’s popularity comparable to Jordan

Migs Bustos, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Apr 29 2020 12:48 AM

Alex Cabagnot is definitely a fan of Michael Jordan. 

So obviously he's been in the loop and updated on "The Last Dance" craze. No doubt, like most basketball fans, Jordan is one of Cabagnot's favorite players.

In the San Miguel Beer point guard's mind, however, having been raised in the United States before coming over to the Philippines, Cabagnot couldn't help but think about the time one Filipino player approximated the kind of following that Jordan had in the US.

"When I first migrated to the Philippines, the biggest basketball player that everybody was crazing over was Mark Caguioa. When I got here, it was all Mark Caguioa, their popularity was crazy." Cabagnot said, describing the fandom of the Barangay Ginebra legend.

"Knowing Mark, my brother and Mark were the same batch in high school. So I knew Mark from back home then when we moved here, man, Mark was huge."

Episode 3 of "The Last Dance" told the story of the "Bad Boys" era of the Detroit Pistons and how it had its so-called "Jordan Rules" to stop the Chicago Bulls legend. 

Asked to find a team in the PBA that plays with the same physicality as the Pistons, Cabagnot chose the Magnolia Pambansang Manok because of their guards' ability to wear them down.

"Whenever I play teams against Magnolia or teams that press or teams that have ample guards like Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, Paul Lee or Justin Melton, all those scrappy guards that get on you and be feisty or other guys that can bang up against June Mar (Fajardo) in a seven-game series, maybe them because they're physical and love to play D. And you won't feel that if you don't play them in the playoffs." said Cabagnot, whose Beermen played Magnolia in the only game of the 2020 PBA season so far before the league was suspended because of the enhance community quarantine imposed by the government in March.

The champion point guard also shared that while he liked most of the scenes in the documentary, he would've preferred if he saw more of the back stories of players, such as Scottie Pippen's time in his hometown of Hamburg, Arkansas or behind the scenes with other players.

Asked who his other favorite Bulls player was, Cabagnot's answer was a no-brainer.

"I like Toni Kukoc. I always joke with Chris Ross — all these lefties, I want to be compared to. Toni, Jalen Rose, Lamar Odom," Cabagnot said, adding that Kukoc's "swag" and feel for the game has influenced him. 

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