Alapag: ‘I didn’t have the guys ready to play’
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag didn’t need to look far to figure out why his team dropped a stunning 98-93 decision at the hands of the Macau Wolf Warriors last Sunday night in the Asean Basketball League.
“I didn’t have the guys ready to play,” Alapag said, after Alab lost for only the second time in six games in Season 10 at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “I have to do a better job—making sure that when that ball is thrown up to start the game, we’re ready to play.”
Alab’s flat start saw Alapag’s charges fall behind by as many as 13 points in the first half. Macau’s imports Doug Herring Jr. and Julian Boyd then delivered the telling blows for the visitors down the stretch, propelling the Wolf Warriors to just their third win in seven games.
Boyd hit a triple and Herring nailed a jumper for a 96-91 advantage with 1:14 remaining as Macau picked up its first win over Alab in two seasons in the league.
The Wolf Warriors had a familiar face to Philippine basketball in head coach in Todd Purves, who once served as consultant to the San Miguel franchise in the PBA.
“I have a lot of respect for Philippine basketball, that’s why this is a big win for us as an organization after a difficult first season,” said Purves, who was brought on board after the Wolf Warriors won only two games last season.
Alab’s loss put to waste the season-high 33 points of import Nick King. Sam Deguara, hounded by the defense of veteran Steven Thomas, was held to just four points, while Khalif Wyatt had 15 points and 12 assists.
“It just seemed like we could never get over the hump,” said Alapag. “I just felt we weren’t very sharp and that’s really something that falls on me as the head coach.”
Alapag vowed his team will show up with a strong response with a match-up against the streaking Fubon Braves, bannered by NBA veteran OJ Mayo and ABL champion Maxie Esho, set at 4 p.m. on Tuesday in San Juan.
“I have to make sure our energy is up and we’re sharper as a team on Tuesday with a quality team like Fubon coming in,” Alapag said, referring to the Taiwanese squad, which is coming off back-to-back wins over the weekend.
“They are pretty much rolling. But I’m confident we’ll recover and bounce back.” INQ