PBA: Cabagnot would have made a big difference for TerraFirma, says SMB coach Austria

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 26 2021 08:41 PM

Alex Cabagnot (5) was impressive in his first four games for TerraFirma before suffering an injury. PBA Media Bureau.
Alex Cabagnot (5) was impressive in his first four games for TerraFirma before suffering an injury. PBA Media Bureau.


MANILA - A foot injury kept veteran guard Alex Cabagnot from playing against his former team, the San Miguel Beermen, on Sunday night.

Cabagnot, 39, had impressed for TerraFirma ever since he was traded to the Dyip in between conferences. He averaged 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in their first four games, while also providing a much-needed veteran presence in the squad.

But he had to sit out TerraFirma's game against the Beermen on Sunday night due to what is feared to be an Achilles injury that he suffered against the NLEX Road Warriors last week. 

"I hope na what happened to him is just minor. I know Alex, for a fact na every time he's suffering some injuries ano, he'll be back stronger," said San Miguel coach Leo Austria of his former player.

Cabagnot spent several seasons with the Beermen before being shipped to the Dyip in a blockbuster trade ahead of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup. He won nine PBA championships with San Miguel, and was the Finals MVP when they won the 2017 Commissioner's Cup.

Austria lamented the injury that Cabagnot suffered, noting that fans had been looking forward to watching the "Crunchman" play against his former team.

"Sometimes it's beyond your control eh. I'm praying for him to recover because there's a lot of fans wanting him to play," he said.

Without Cabagnot, TerraFirma absorbed a third consecutive defeat in the Governors' Cup, as San Miguel held off the Dyip for a 100-88 triumph. The Beermen needed big shots from CJ Perez and Terrence Romeo down the stretch after seeing a 23-point lead go down to just six.

Austria knows that Cabagnot would have made a big difference for TerraFirma had he been able to play.

"Definitely, it will become harder for us to beat them, because Alex, alam niya what's going on in our team. Alam niya 'yung mga plays, alam niya 'yung strategy," he noted.

"I think he will be a problem, especially in the (final) stretch, because he proved it naman to their team na he's a big factor. 'Yung impact niya sa team ay really big eh," he added.

The Dyip have yet to announce a timetable for Cabagnot's return.