— ABL (@aseanbasketball) August 12, 2017
Winner in every level he’s been in, Jimmy Alapag will take that champion mentality as the head coach of Alab Pilipinas this upcoming 2018 ASEAN Basketball League season.
The 39-year-old legend has taken over the lead mentor job while Mac Cuan slides into the role of assistant for Alab’s second season.
“It has a new ring to it. It’s really an exciting opportunity and I’m just really thankful for Alab for bringing me on,” said Alapag on Saturday when Alab Pilipinas made his signing official.
— Alab Pilipinas (@AlabPilipinas) August 12, 2017
This will be a brand new challenge for Alapag, who previously worked as an assistant coach for Gilas Pilipinas and Meralco Bolts.
But the 2011 PBA Most Valuable Player is no stranger to being the captain, leading TNT to six championships while also being a key figure in the national team.
“We signed Jimmy because we know he can help transform the team. He has been helping lots of young players about good work ethic. That’s what he’ll bring to the team. We’re very happy that he’ll finally be a head coach,” said team owner Charlie Dy.
Alapag shared that he’s excited to embark on this new chapter and he hopes to pass forward the lessons he’s learned from his past mentors.
“I’ve been very, very fortunate in my career to play for different coaches – coach Chot (Reyes), coach Norman (Black), coach Derrick (Pumaren), even coach Tim (Cone) when he was helping Gilas. We’re talking about some Hall of Fame-level coaches. I’d like to get bits and pieces from those guys. I wanna encourage our guys to come in and get ready to work,” he said.
Alapag said the team won’t settle for anything less this coming season after Alab finished third in the ABL last year.
“I think going into second season, the goal is to compete for the championship. Last year, they were really close to being in the Finals. Hopefully this season, we’ll get there and bring the first championship for Alab,” he said.
Alapag will have Cuan and Paolo Rivero in his coaching staff.
As for the players, Dy said that the management is working doubly hard to bring back 2017 ABL Local MVP Bobby Ray Parks and national team guard Kiefer Ravena.
“We’re trying to keep Ray and Kiefer, definitely. People will just have to wait for the next two weeks,” the team executive said.
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