Alab Pilipinas will enter their second season with a living legend steering the team as Jimmy Alapag was named as the head coach of the Philippines’ representative in the Asean Basketball League, Saturday afternoon.
“It has a new ring to it. Siyempre, it’s really an exciting opportunity,” the 39-year-old shared.
“I’m just really thankful for Alab for bringing me on.”
Alapag retired from professional basketball back in November of 2016 after a spectacular career that spanned 14 years. The 5-foot-9 floor general won six PBA crowns and an MVP honor to boot back in 2011.
Moreover, he was also a staple in Gilas Pilipinas, being part of the Men’s National Basketball team from 2007 to 2015.
After retirement, Alapag was immediately tapped by Meralco Bolts as team consultant. However, with the opportunity of steering his own team, he had to give up Meralco for Alab.
“Not anymore,” he said if he will still be part of Norman Black’s staff.
“I’ll still be with Gilas. I’m very thankful to Alab because this opportunity still allows me to continue my work for the national team.”
Alapag takes over from Mac Cuan, who will still be part of the team as assistant coach. And the sure-shot hall-of-famer plans to bring in a different culture come the 2017-18 ABL Season to end the country’s four-year ABL Championship drought.
“I hope that we’re a very good perimeter shooting team. One of the plans is to incorporate lots of shooting in training. Our focus for our players is to establish a winning culture and put ourselves in a position to compete for a championship,” he said.
“It’s a new perspective compared to playing in front of Filipinos. I can’t express how excited I am.”