July 22, 2024

'Ageless' Alex Cabagnot relishes sharing court with Gilas Pilipinas anew

At 41, Alex Cabagnot can still give the young Gilas players a run for their money. Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Alex Cabagnot relished sharing the court again with Gilas Pilipinas on Monday, June 24, albeit from the opposing side.

Now playing for the Taiwan Mustangs, Cabagnot torched Gilas with 13 points on two three-pointers in a vintage game that also saw him get seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal.

The Mustangs, though, dropped a 74-64 decision against Olympic Qualifying Tournament-bound Gilas in a send-off exhibition match at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

[RELATED STORY: Dwight Ramos leads Gilas Pilipinas in win vs. Taiwan ahead of OQT]

“It’s always a good thing to play with, to play against Gilas,” Cabagnot told One Sports’ Gillian Trinidad.

“I played with Gilas in 2018. It’s cool to play with them again on the other side naman.”

The nine-time PBA champion was of course referring to the his stint with the national team in the second round of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in 2018. His three-game run included scoring a team-best 16 points in a win against Qatar.

Unfortunately, that was his only tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas.

Nevertheless, at 41 years young, Cabagnot still gave the young Gilas players a run for their money. 

Just ask Gilas coach Tim Cone. 

"Alex is ageless. He is absolutely ageless. He can step in to a team right now and still contribute anywhere he wanted to. He's been an awesome player all these years. He's really tough to defend, he is lefty, he is crafty, he is tough," said Cone said after the match. 

The Crunchman last played in the PBA for the Terrafirma Dyip in 2023 before briefly taking his act to the Korean Basketball League with the Goyang Sono Skygunners as an Asian import.

Now he is suiting up for the Mustangs, who recently signed former NBA stars Dwight Howard, Demarcus Cousins, and Quinn Cook for The Asian Tournament. The three have yet to join the team handled by former PBA coach Chris Gavina, though.

The tuneup match is part of the Gilas buildup for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament from July 2 to 7 in Latvia.

The Filipino dribblers are grouped with the host and Georgia in the short competition where an Paris 2024 slot is at stake.

(With reports from Gillian Trinidad/One Sports Digital)

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