Alapag on Alab’s poor first half: ‘It needs to be a 40-minute effort’
Alab Pilipinas got off to a poor start and that ultimately caused its downfall in a close 92-89 defeat to Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club on Sunday in the 2018 Asean Basketball League.
“I think it was really a tale of two halves. In the first half, we had 15 turnovers, but in the second half, we only had three. I think if we would have played with the sense of urgency like we did in the second half in the first half, I think the outcome could have been different,” said Alapag, who made his head coaching debut.
Aside from World Imports Reggie Okosa and Ivan Johnson as well as veteran guard Josh Urbiztondo, contributions have been few for Alab in the first half.
Hong Kong slowly pulled away and even took a 15-point lead, 63-48, early in the third quarter.
“Us having 15 turnovers and giving Hong Kong 23 turnover points in the first half put us in a pretty big hole,” lamented Alapag.
“A lot of these guys with PBA experience are used to 48 minutes. In a 40-minute game, it’s really important that you work at a much more efficient rate.”
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. did pick up the slack in the second half to lead Alab’s belated rally. That effort was a welcome sight for Alapag as the home crew came one Urbiztondo desperation three away from forcing overtime against the defending ABL champion.
“I was very pleased with our effort in the second half,” he said. “But we need not just 20 minutes, it needs to be a 40-minute effort.”
Rather than dwell on the defeat, Alapag noted the game should serve as a pick off point for Alab as it seeks to bounce back in its next game against Singapore on November 29 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“It was definitely something that we can build off of. Despite the loss, there were a lot of positives we can build on,” he said, not just for the players but also for the coaches themselves.
“When you’ve played for so long, it’s a much different perspective. When you’re playing, you’re focused on making the shot or making the assist. But now when you’re coaching, you’re trying to put the pieces together to make it work with the five guys on the court,” shared the PBA legend. “Just like the players have to get back to work in practice, I’ll do my part watching video tonight and making sure that we’re better next game.”
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