Jimmy Alapag sticks to positives but rues sloppy start that proved costly in losing coaching debut
Jimmy Alapag shrugged off losing his debut as Alab coach as he remained satisfied in seeing his wards put up a late charge that fell short. Kiev Iz Kresta

ALAB Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag hopes his team could build on the gains of their play in the second half after losing to Hong Kong Eastern in their home opener of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League season.

Alab fell short against the Christian Standhardinger-led Hong Kong, 92-89, on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Alapag's first official game as a head coach.

Standhardinger, who is also the number one pick in the recent PBA draft, turned out to be a thorn for Alab, finishing with 26 points, including back-to-back daggers, and 14 rebounds in the win.

But aside from Standhardinger's dominance, Alapag also rued the 15 turnovers Alab had in the first half that set the tone for Hong Kong Eastern.

Alapag, however, was satisfied with their play in the second half where they only had three turnovers.

"I thought our effort in the second half was much better. But the thing that really hurt us in the first half is 'yung turnovers namin," said Alapag.

Alapag noted the importance of playing efficiently in a 40-minute game that the ABL and international play follows.

"In a 40-minute game, it is important that you work on a more efficient rate. Kasi a lot of this guys have PBA experience and are used to 48 minutes. You play 40 in international play and it forces you to play on an efficient rate,” he said

"Having 15 turnovers, and giving Hong Kong 23 turnover points put us in a hole," added Alapag.

Alab next faces the Singapore Slingers on November 29 at the Sta. Rosa Arena in Laguna, with Alapag and his wards looking to bounce back in another home game.

"It is something that we can definitely build on. It's a tale of two halves... Second half, we only had three. If we would have to play with a sense of urgency, the outcome might have been different,” said the first-time coach.


"But you have to give credit to Hong Kong. They are a champion team for a reason. Christian came out. I know how excited he was playing here. He hit a big shot with a contest. I'm pleased with the effort, but it was just 20 minutes. It has to be a 40-minute effort," added Alapag.

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