Alab coach Alapag vows to continue team sponsor San Miguel's winning tradition in ABL
Alab coach Jimmy Alapag vowed to continue San Miguel's winning tradition in the ABL despite spending his entire PBA career under SMC rival MVP group. Jerome Ascano

JIMMY Alapag working under a San Miguel-sponsored team may seem strange, but the Alab Pilipinas coach just remained grateful to find a new sponsor in the middle of the Asean Basketball League season.

And like a true professional , Alapag vowed to continue the winning tradition San Miguel is known for in the ABL.

Recently, Alab found a new major sponsor in San Miguel Corporation, a company that is no stranger to the ABL having formed the San Miguel Beermen in 2012 and 2013. SMC came in after Tanduay reportedly pulled out of its sponsorship deal with Alab midway through the season.

The 40-year-old coach said he is thankful that San Miguel came in at this point of the season to support the team after Tanduay pulled out of its sponsorship deal.

“Really thankful for their support,” said Alapag. “It was unfortunate what happened with the initial sponsor but for them to come on board at this point of the season, it is huge.”

Incidentally, Alapag will be coaching Alab whose sponsor SMC is a rival group of the MVP Group of Companies where the 5-foot-9 guard suited up during his entire PBA career with TNT and Meralco.

Persons close to the team, however, explained that, unlike in the PBA and other leagues where the team is owned by the company, Alab Pilipinas operates as a club team with its owners tasked to find their own sponsors to bankroll the team.

The set-up is similar to club teams in many football leagues around the world.

Still, Alapag, being the head coach, wants to repay the support of San Miguel by building a winning Alab team that could contend for the championship.

“We are really thankful for their support. Hopefully, we can carry on with the tradition of the San Miguel Beer name carried for so many years,” said Alapag. 

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