Having 2-3 imports a test in relationship says Coach Jimmy
Paul Kennedy Lintag on Jun 30, 2020 11:06 AM
In his first season as a head coach alone, head coach Jimmy Alapag started Alab Pilipinas with Ivan Johnson and Reggie Okosa as imports. Midway through the season, Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman joined the team.
As it was pointed out a couple of weeks ago, the PBA is "unique" in the East Asian region in the sense that the league only has single-import tournaments.
The other main pro leagues like in China, South Korea, and Japan all have teams being able to employ at least two foreign reinforcements.
The other league in the region with a Philippine team, the Asean Basketball League, recently just allowed its member squads to tap up to three world imports.
Imports coming over to play in Asia instantly become the best players of their respective teams, or at least their on top of the rotation.
Dealing with one alpha should be hard enough, but how about two or three?
"I think it always comes down to establishing a relationship with them and it's not something that's gonna be built the day they come here," Alab Pilipinas mentor Jimmy Alapag told Coaches Unfiltered.
In his first season as a head coach alone, Alapag started Alab with Ivan Johnson and Reggie Okosa as imports. Midway through the season, Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman joined the team.
"It's gonna take time, but whether it's the imports or the local guys, I've always made it a point these past three years with Alab and even back when I played, it's important to really try to focus on slowly changing the dynamic of the relationship you have with the players," he added.
Winning basketball games is not as simple as mastering the Xs and Os and executing a perfectly-sound gameplan.
Team chemistry matters greatly in basketball and how team personalities mesh with each other can be the difference between winning and losing.
Alapag says that a deeper bond between the team will only lead to greater success, that's why it's been a focus for him even when he was still a player.
With six PBA championships as a player and one ABL title as a head coach, Alapag sure knows what he's talking about.
"You don't look at it as strictly a player-coach relationship, it goes much deeper that that. So when it comes to the time that you talk to the imports or the local guys, you're battling and you're trying to win a game, if I'm yelling, I feel like it comes less across as I'm attacking you but more on the understanding side. I'm over here trying to win just like you guys so keep everybody accountable," Alapag said.
"Because you already established that relationship, I think it just makes everything a lot more smooter when you just have that relationship with your players," coach Jimmy added.
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