Alapag relishes chance to learn from another bright mind in Cone
MANILA, Philippines—One of its most celebrated members, Jimmy Alapag returned to Gilas Pilipinas as part of head coach Tim Cone’s deputies.
But more than the nostalgic feeling, the former Gilas Pilipinas captain said he is more thrilled by what the myriad possibilities the opportunity could afford him.
He is, after all, will be joining Cone, the PBA’s winningest coach and the architect behind two rare Grand Slams.
“I’ve been fortunate throughout my career,” Alapag said.
“To be around some of the best minds in our country—from coach Norman (Black), coach Chot (Reyes), coach Tab (Baldwin), coach Jong (Uichico), and now, coach Tim … the learning process continues.”
Alapag retired from the game in November 2016 and has tethered his focus on coaching since then. He was named as Alab Pilipinas coach in the ABL, a squad he steered to a championship in 2018.
“To even have this [chance] with coach Tim? He’s one of the greatest to ever coach in the Philippines, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with him,” he said.
Alapag is also reunited with his former teammates in the Philippine quintet that saw action in the 2014 FIBA World Cup with veteran point guard Jayson Castro and LA Tenorio part of the 15-man pool for the Southeast Asian Games.
“It’s going to be great to be around the guys—especially LA and Jayson. It’s been a while since we’ve been together,” he said.
Most importantly, Alapag is set to reprise his role in the SEA Games after he served as assistant to Jong Uichico’s squad that won the gold in 2017 in Malaysia.
“There’s a lot of talent—a lot of veteran leadership,” he said of the all-pro selection which he will help handle.
“These are guys who have been through their share of battles.”