For the upcoming season of the ASEAN Basketball League, Alab Pilipinas signs Jimmy Alapag as Head Coach.
Last season, Alab was coached by Mcc Cuan who led the team to a 11-9 record and a playoff berth. They will shake things up this year in an attempt to take over the throne currently held by the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions and have started so by signing Alapag.
“I’m so happy that he’s finally, FINALLY, here with us.” says Dondon Monteverde, President of Virtual Playground (VP), at the Press Release of the signing.
“Because I know Jimmy would be a good influence.” Charlie Dy, CEO of Virtual Playground (VP), says of why they signed Alapag as Head Coach of Alab Pilipinas. “Since season one we were really wanting to have jimmy on board, so we’re very happy that he finally finalized.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise as to how excited Alab Pilipinas are to have signed Alapag with the what he brings to the table. Alapag has a lengthy and storied reputation in the Philippines as a living legend, having brought much success to the international team both as a player and a coach. He was a beloved player for his mentality and passion, something that Alab hopes will translate welll in his first ever role as a Head Coach.
“[I’m very excited] for the upcoming season,” Alapag says as his opening statement during the press release. “For this to be my first head coaching experience, I’m looking forward to the challenge. I know [that it will be very difficult] with the preparations for the upcoming season. Again, I’m used to working hard. That’s the norm for me. I’m just looking forward to the upcoming season and bringing the championship to Alab Pilipinas.”
Before taking on this role as a Head Coach, Alapag previously served as Assistant Coaches for the Philippines National Team and the Meralco Bolts in the PBA.
“It’ll be very helpful because a lot of the teams in the ABL are from the Southeast Asian regions and hopefully with the upcoming SEA Games next week, I’ll get a first hand look at some of the competition for the upcoming season,” Alapag says of how his National Team coaching experience will help him in his rookie season. “Again, I’m excited and I plan to use my experiences, obviously as a player and from this past year as a coach for both Gilas and for Meralco [Bolts] to help me prepare for the Alab season.”
Alapag was an exciting player, whether it was in club competition or national team play, and most fans will say that his style of play best represents Philippines basketball.
“Without giving away too much, I think us as in these Filipino players, we thrive in a very uptempo style to take advantage of the speed and quickness we have as well as our creativity of the game and our ability to shoot.” Alapag says of Alab’s expected style of play. “So that’s really my idea going into the season and building the team that best suits that.”
“We’re coming to win.”
“In the ABL, there’s a lot of talented teams,” Alapag says of what he expects coaching in the ABL. “I think the competition in the region has only improved because of the ABL so it’ll be important for us, for Alab, for our preparation to get to work.”
“In the ABL, you have two imports that are on the court at the same time so there’s a very strong influence from the imports. Whatever we decide to bring in for Alab in this upcoming season, they’re big players and are excited to be in the Alab family and excited to bring a championship to Alab.”
Alapag is the first additional building block for Alab Pilipinas heading into the next ABL season and certainly a positive start for a team looking to go for the title.
“To all of our Alab fans, [thank you very much] for your love and support.” Alapag addresses to Alab fans to close out the press conference. “Can’t express how excited I am to be a part of the Alab family for the upcoming ABL season. Really looking forward to having a lot of success. Appreciate your support and we’ll see you all at the games pretty soon.”