Meralco still ‘hungry, humble’ as it moves on from Finals stint
Jared Dillinger won’t lie: Jimmy Alapag’s retirement truly is a big blow for Meralco.
“You can’t replace a guy like Jimmy. He’s irreplaceable,” he said. “It’s going to be hard not having him on the court with us. We’re gonna have to learn along the way without him.”
Alapag called it a career for good in the offseason after leading the Bolts to a runner-up finish in the 2016 Governors’ Cup.
Losing their captain isn’t really the news the Bolts want to hear as they look forward to the new season. But if there’s something Alapag did in his one season with Meralco, it’s empowering the veterans and leaving a winning culture.
“Us veterans, we can collaboratively come together and do the best we can to try to help out through what we experienced in our careers,” Dillinger said. “What we’re focusing on is trying to cultivate a positive environment, a winning environment for Meralco. We haven’t really proven anything, so we’re humble, we’re still hungry, and we still have a lot to do.”
Though the breakthrough Finals appearance is something to build on, it’s up to Meralco to show that achievement isn’t just a one-off.
“We have our work ahead of us. We’re happy that we made the Finals, but it’s been two weeks now, all is forgotten, and no one cares,” said Dillinger. “We have to continue to prove ourselves that we want to be up there in the upper echelon against the other great teams. We have lots of work ahead.”