Alex Cabagnot happy to see former players Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio in the PBA
MANILA, Philippines—Alex Cabagnot’s duty of teaching Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario didn’t stop in the collegiate league.
When San Miguel easily handled Blackwater, 93-79, in the PBA Philippine Cup, Cabagnot was still supervising his former players from University of the Philippines even though they were part of the opposing team.
Cabagnot was part of Bo Perasol’s coaching staff in the UAAP and he was responsible for helping hone Desiderio and Dario not only for the collegiate game but also for the PBA.
“I know their potential and I’m glad those late night workouts we had at UP and those time we had for our extra sessions were not in vain,” said Cabagnot Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I tell them all the time that the PBA is easier to get in to, the harder part is staying. I hope they remember that.”
Cabagnot also praised both Dario and Desiderio for being able to put to good use the shooting drills they did in UP in the PBA.
There were instances in the fourth quarter that Desiderio went up against Cabagnot and even used the move his mentor thought him when he was still a Fighting Maroon.
“I told Paul ‘why are you guarding me?’ but Paul is just one of those strong guys,” said Cabagnot. “He did two dribbles and he even pump faked me but he missed the shot. Going down I told him ‘that’s a good move.’”
The 37-year-old point guard, though, showed why he’s been in the PBA for so long, schooling Dario and Desiderio finishing with 19 points, on 8-of-15 shooting, and five assists.
Desiderio and Dario, both 22, mustered just a combined four points and four assists.
Cabagnot also didn’t forget about Dario, who played just around seven minutes for the Elite.
“Diego came down one time and he passed it so I told him ‘Diego, shoot that man. You work on that all the time, shoot that,’” said Cabagnot. “I know that’s bad because I’m playing for San Miguel but they ‘re in a special place in my heart talaga.”