Coach Jimmy says Alab now has a chance because of Brownlee, Balkman

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 07, 2018 07:18 PM
Alab now has a chance because of Brownlee, Balkman
Jimmy Alapag's first winning streak as a head coach is now at three in a row

Jimmy Alapag’s head coaching career got off to some sort of a rough start.

In his first two months as shot-caller, the Philippine basketball legend only had one win to show in four games.

At the end of 2017, Alapag and Alab Pilipinas were languishing at the bottom of the standings of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2018 and Alapag and Alab have turned it around.

With three wins in a row, they now found themselves well inside the playoff picture.

Of course, the schedule has been more favorable.

The Filipinos had to face defending champion Hong Kong twice and semifinalist Singapore once in the earlygoing.

Meanwhile, their three-game win run have come at the expense of newcomer Formosa, rebuilding Westports Malaysia, and then the Slingers.

Still, it has been Alapag himself that has been the leading cause of the turnaround.

Now more comfortable as a tactician, he is ready and raring to lead his team onto a playoff push.

It doesn’t hurt either that Alab now has the reinforcements they have long been looking for in stat sheet-stuffer Justin Brownlee and versatile Renaldo Balkman. “It’s great to have them on our side, that’s for sure. They’re world-class imports,” he said.

Indeed, Brownlee and Balkman have done the heavy lifting in the Philippines’ last two wins.

And for Alapag, that is just the start. Asked if this signals their serious contention. “Yes, I think they will give us a chance.”

Yes, by they, he means Brownlee and Balkman.

However, they know full well that it will take total team effort to do just that. “I keep telling the guys, ‘Let’s keep working, let’s keep building. Hopefully, we’ll have that chance come April,” the head coach said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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