Melecio set to get together with Alapag after COVID-19 crisis

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 27, 2020 01:33 PM
Melecio to get together with Alapag after COVID-19 crisis
(Photos by Josh Albelda, courtesy of FIBA)

Aljun Melecio's spirit animal is Jimmy Alapag.

Both are pint-sized playmakers who have deep range, but could also slice and dice their way inside for a short stab or a setup for a teammate.

That's exactly why De La Salle University's graduating guard was one of four collegiate stars who were invited to take part in an online learning session with the longtime Gilas Pilipinas captain a week ago.

Melecio, Ateneo de Manila University's SJ Belangel, Mapua University's Laurenz Victoria, and San Sebastian College-Recoletos' RK Ilagan got to converse with Alapag through a Zoom meeting initiated by GOAT Academy.

The fledgling program has organized several online learning sessions that aim to connect pros with collegiate stars and let the former enrich the minds of the latter.

Of course, the 5-foot-8 point guard was nothing but grateful for the golden opportunity to hear the mind of his idol. "Unreal yung feeling, sa totoo lang. 'Di ko akalaing dadating ako sa ganitong point ng buhay ko," he said.

Even better for Melecio, Alapag has apparently already penciled in a training session for the two of them after the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

"I'm excited to go back sa Manila kasi nag-usap kami ni Coach Jimmy and sabi niya, mag-workout daw kami pagbalik ko," he said as he has been staying in his hometown of Bukidnon for over a month now. "May mga drills daw siyang gustong ipagawa sa akin and siyempre, I'm just excited to learn from him since same yung paano kami maglaro."

Yes, now, the 22-year-old has a scheduled workout with the Philippine basketball legend who won him over when he once got the better of his initial idol. "Actually, si J-Jay Helterbrand talaga gusto ko ever since, pero nung Ginebra versus Talk ng Text, grabe laro ni Coach Jimmy nung nanalo sila. Dun na ako nag-start laging manood ng games niya," the former shared.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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