Alapag was always Alabís first choice for head coach

Alapag was always Alabís first choice for head coach
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. Jimmy Alapag will now call the shots for an Alab Piipinas side more determined than ever to get their first championship.

While they fell short of bringing back the trophy to the country, Alab Pilipinas’ maiden campaign in the Asean Basketball League was nonetheless a success.

Ending third-place and earning the local MVP for Ray Parks Jr., the Filipinos returned to contention with a vengeance.

And now closing in on their second season, Alab is only looking to get even better. “We’re thinking of improving the team, definitely,” team manager Charlie Dy said.

As it turns out, the first step towards that improvement is ushering in a well-respected name to call the shots. “We signed Jimmy because we know he can help transform the team. He has been helping lots of young players about good work ethic,” Dy said in the press conference last Saturday that introduced Jimmy Alapag as the new head coach for the Philippines.

He then continued, “That’s what he’ll bring to the team so we’re very happy that he’ll finally be a head coach.”

Alapag will be taking over for Mac Cuan and taking on his first head coaching job after having served as assistant coach for both Gilas Pilipinas and Meralco in the past couple of years.

And apparently, the 39-year-old had always been bound to call the shots for Alab. As Dy shared, “When we were invited last season, we already thought of Jimmy. He was our first choice to be coach, but since he had a live contract (as player for the Bolts), we couldn’t get him.”

He then continued, “Mac was very willing to be interim coach while we waited for Jimmy.”

Before his new job, “The Mighty Mouse,” as he has been fondly referred to, won six championships and one MVP award in the PBA. He played 13 years for TNT and then two years for the Bolts.

Now, Alapag is relishing standing in front of a new mountain to climb. “Siyempre, it’s really an exciting opportunity. I’m just really thankful for Alab for bringing me on,” he expressed.

Along with head coaching duties for Alab, he will still be involved as an assistant coach for Gilas Pilipinas. “I’m very thankful to Alab because this opportunity still allows me to continue my work for the national team,” he expressed.

However, he will no longer serve as an assistant coach for Meralco.

The Alapag-guided Filipinos will once again see action in the ABL commencing later in the year. All of the action will still be on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/abl.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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