Gilas guard Jimmy Alapag in race against time to be fit for Fiba Asia championship
Injured Jimmy Alapag helps Calvin Abueva polish his three-point shooting minutes before Gilas Pilipinas' game against Iran in the Jones Cup. Dodo Catacutan

TAIPEI - Comebacking Jimmy Alapag is in a race against time to be fit for the 2015 Fiba Asia championships after suffering a setback in his recovery from a quad injury in Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in the Jones Cup.

The former PBA MVP is likely out for the duration of the Jones Cup after once again feeling pain in his quads, just minutes after hitting a three-pointer in his comeback game against old nemesis South Korea.

That was the same injury that had forced him out of action in an Estonia pocket tournament and in the first few games here.

Alapag's main concern, however, is the Fiba Asia championships thre weeks from now where the veteran is being counted upon to be the only true point guard in national coach Tab Baldwin's backcourt rotation.

"It's day to day," Alapag said of his injury minutes before Gilas' game against Asian powerhouse Iran, time he used to help new national teammate Calvin Abueva polish his three-point shooting with valuable pointers.

"I'm in a race against time really to be fit for the Fiba Asia and we're doing our best to get there."

Alapag, however, acknowledged that the time off is already a big setback considering he can use every match practice he can have after sitting out an entire PBA season and coming out of retirement to rejoin Gilas.

"It's (recovery) not ideal right now," said Alapag, 38, who has committed to join Meralco in the coming PBA season. "I should be playing with the guys, not sitting out games."

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