Terrafirma coach believes playoffs now a realistic target with Alex Cabagnot onboard

One of San Miguel’s pillars and a member of the dreaded “Death Five” has parted ways with the league’s winngest franchise.

In another stunning deal by the Beermen, Alex Cabagnot was dealt to Terrafirma in exchange for journayman guard Simon Enciso. The deal was approved on November 13, just a couple of days after Arwind Santos’ shipment to NorthPort.

For Terrafirma head coach Johnedel Cardel, Cabagnot’s addition would give his team a sense of leadership and work ethic for his predominantly young roster.

“Sa tingin ko, eto na ‘yung kailangan namin. Beterano ko lang dito si Aldrech Ramos at Eric Camson. Iba pa rin ‘yung point guard, ‘yung beterano na nagdadala ng bola, nagtitimon, nagseset-up ng plays. Siguro with God’s will, mapapaganda niya ‘yung takbo ng team,” said Cardel.

Cardel is hoping for a first playoff appearance since the 2016 Governors’ Cup where they finished fourth in the elimination round, but was eventually defeated by Meralco in quarterfinals.

“Meron na kaming leader. ‘Yung tipong magiging coach ko sa loob habang naglalaro sila. Kulang ko leadership na point guard,” said Cardel.

Terrafirma finished in eighth spot during the 2021 Philippine Cup semi-bubble format – including a victory against powerhouse teams Brgy. Ginebra and San Miguel – but failed to secure a quarterfinal seat because of the quotient system.

“Malay mo dahil sa kanya, matulungan niya ang team na makapasok kami sa quarterfinals,” Cardel added.

Cabagnot won nine titles during his 11-year stint in Beermen and Cardel believes his winning mentality would bring the youthful and hungry Terrafirma side on a higher level.

“’Yung team namin, hindi ganun kalakas. They really work hard as a team. Walang superstar. With Alex, I know him. He is a superstar. Tingin ko, mashe-share niya ‘yung knowledge niya at experience niya which is maganda magiging atmosphere sa amin,” said Cardel.

“I know him for a long, long time. Marami siyang mashe-share sa mga bata kong player,” he added.

Work ethic, Cardel says that Alex Cabagnot definitely has, can be emulated by Dyip’s young guns once he shares the floor with them.

The former PBA player bared that Cabagnot used to contact him to ask permission to practice shooting in the gymnasium of Rizal Technological University where he used to be a consultant.

“Malapit siya doon eh. Minsan magte-text na magsu-shooting ako sa gym. Nakikigamit. Minsan ‘yung mga player ko ang mag-aabot sa kanya [ng bola],” stated Cardel.

Cardel believes Cabagnot’s age would not be of great hindrance for bringing positives on the table.

“Galing naman siya sa laro. Hindi siya natigil. Active naman siya. ‘Yung edad, letra lang ‘yan. ‘Yung mga ‘yan, hindi nagpapabaya sa katawan ‘yan. Hardworking guy ‘yan.”

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