MANILA, Philippines – No face mask can stop San Miguel Beer playmaker Alex Cabagnot just yet.
Despite having to wear a facial mask to protect a depressed nasal fracture, the 34-year-old went on to average 15 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3 assists as the Beermen went 2-0 in a span of 3 days to become the first PBA Press Corps Player of the Week awardee in 2017.
Though advised by doctors to undergo surgery, Cabagnot got the green light to play, provided he wore the mask.
Cabagnot beat SMB teammates Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo, Rain or Shine’s Jericho Cruz, NLEX guard Carlo Lastimosa, and GlobalPort’s high-scoring gunner Terrence Romeo for the citation for the period of December 28, 2016 to January 8, 2017.
Although he felt uncomfortable playing with the facial mask the first time he wore it on Friday, Cabagnot managed to heat up fast, firing 10 points in the opening period to set the tone for San Miguel, which went on to clobber Blackwater, 118-93.
The win helped San Miguel gain the first playoff spot in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.
The University of Hawaii-Hilo standout finished the game with a near double-double output of 14 points and 9 rebounds.
Two days later, Cabagnot helped San Miguel get the upper hand after pouring 9 of his 16 points in the third period as the Beermen scraped past Barangay Ginebra, 72-70, for a tournament-best 7-1 slate.
Cabagnot postponed the surgery to avoid missing the rest of the Philippine Cup as San Miguel guns for its third straight title in the season-opening conference. – Rappler.com