PBA: Nostalgia hits in Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot jersey swap
ANTIPOLO CITY — The jersey swap ritual has long been observed in the Philippine Basketball Association.
But there nothing was quite like the one shared by San Miguel Beer’s Marcio Lassiter and Terrafirma’s Alex Cabagnot on Friday at Ynares Center here.
“That’s my ‘Splash Brother,’” a smiling Lassiter told reporters on his way out of the hilltop arena, fresh off helping the Beermen to a 122-102 blowout of the Dyip and the club’s third straight in the Governors’ Cup.
“That’s something we never got to do. We’ve played for so long together and it’s just one of those things where it would be kind of cool to do,” the 35-year-old sniper went on.
Lassiter and Cabagnot go way back. They’ve actually been in the trenches together. The pair were vital cogs in the San Miguel championship machine that dominated the Philippine Cup in the 2010s. Together with Chris Ross, June Mar Fajardo, and Arwind Santos— they are known as the club’s “Death Five”—which account for nine of the vaunted franchise’s 28 crowns.
The swap would’ve easily brought any San Miguel fan into a nostalgic frenzy. But it also galvanized something that’s unfolding right before each PBA fan’s eyes: The dawn of a new era at San Miguel.
With Cabagnot at Terrafirma, Santos at NorthPort, and coach Leo Austria appointed to a less hands-on role, the Beermen’s grizzled bunch has been reduced to just three individuals: Lassiter, Fajardo, and Ross.
“Just to always have those memories and say, ‘Hey, you know we were together as teammates,” said Lassiter, who like Cabagnot, finished the game in twin digits.
“It’s kind of a cool, cool little moment,” he added.