Jimmy Alapag, famous PBA player US-born and raised, seems perfectly geared to live his career on basketball. Prepared by a good college and amateur playing phase (Cal State San Bernardino and 2002 Asian Games), he grew into his own at the PBA where he was a major fixture as “Mighty Mouse” for 13 years. After playing in the league for Talk ‘N’ Text and Meralco Bolts, he postponed his planned player retirement to join the National Team in both the 2014 FIBA World Cup and Asian Games. Even with his playing days now behind him Alapag remained involved in the sport as either a team’s head coach or an assistant.
And as ESPN has it, Jimmy Alapag is due to add another coaching feather in his cap, this time for the NBA itself. With the 73rd season (2018-19) over and done with, topped by the historic Toronto Raptors championship victory, the league is getting ready for the off-season Summer League competition. And Alapag has been tapped to join as an assistant of the Sacramento Kings coaching staff for the duration.
Alapag notes that the opportunity arose during his tenure as head coach of Alab Pilipinas in the FIBA-sanctioned ASEAN Baskteball League, thanks to his maintaining contact with the FIBA Players’ Commission chairman Vlade Divac. Speaking to the Serbian NBA legend about how he felt that his coaching skills were still at a rookie level (he took the post in 2017), Alapag was surprised when Divac, who was also general manager of the Kings, offered him a shot as assistant coach. Mighty Mouse did not hesitate. “I cherish the opportunity to continue my education in coaching,” Alapag would tell ESPN. “I’ve been blessed to have worked with a lot of great coaches in the PBA and with Gilas Pilipinas and I’m excited to learn more from the coaches in the NBA.”
To acclimate himself to his new position, Jimmy Alapag will be headed to Sacramento by June 26 to meet the Kings and join in their training camp. Afterwards they will head to Las Vegas where the 15 NBA Summer League will run from July 5 to 15, jointly at the Thomas and Mack Center and the University of Las Vegas’ Cox Pavilion. Sacramento is one of 30 teams to vie for Summer League champion, with the competition being decided by a preliminary round of four games for each franchise, followed by the eight-seed knockout tournament.
Aside from being head coach of the ABL’s Alab Pilipinas, Alapag also is an assistant for the staff of the San Miguel Beermen on the PBA. Previously he had also briefly served as assistant coach for Team Philippines and a consultant for the Meralco Bolts.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News