Former University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons captain and Blackwater Elite rookie Paul Desiderio admitted that he got overpowered by his former mentor San Miguel Beermen’s Alex Cabagnot during their first game as opponents in the PBA
Desiderio only registered four points and two assists while Cabagnot, who served as assistant coach to the Fighting Maroons, delivered 19 points and five assists for the Beermen to seize a 93-79 win over Blackwater on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
“Alam talaga ni coach Alex kung ano at kung saan ang weakness ko. Kinain tayo ng buhay ng mentor natin,” Desiderio said regarding his first face-off with Cabagnot.
“Teacher tsaka student, siyempre, panalo yung teacher, wala tayong magagawa dun,” Desiderio added.
Desiderio also expressed happiness in finally being able to face Cabagnot as a rival in the court. The PBA rookie admitted that he continues to respect the Beermen guard even if they are no longer on the same team.
“Siyempre, masaya. ‘Yung mentor mo sa college, nandiyan kalaban mo sa PBA,” Desiderio said.
Meanwhile, Cabagnot also expressed happiness that Desiderio and Diego Dario, a former player of the Fighting Maroons now also signed up with the Elite, are now playing in the PBA.
“I know their potential, and I’m glad those late-night workouts we had at UP, and those time we had, yung mga extra sessions namin, it’s not in vain,” Cabagnot said.
However, Cabagnot reminded his former players that entering the PBA is the easiest part, remaining in the league will be their challenge.
“I tell them all the time that the PBA is easier to get in to, the harder part is staying. So I hope they remember that,” Cabagnot said