SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag considered the coming two-week break a fitting reward for a team riding the crest of an eight-game winning streak in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Alab routed the Formosa Dreamers, 117-93, on Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex and Alapag said a much-needed break as an incentive after playing for six straight weeks.
“These guys have been through a brutal schedule with the travel,” said Alapag, who hopes to see his players recharged for the playoff push after spending time away from basketball following a gruelling schedule.
“Again, two months ago, we were dead last. They deserve all the credit. They’ve come in focused and understanding that we want to keep building and build every day to hopefully give us an opportunity to be there in the end. It’s been a daily effort with the guys.
“They deserve the next days off to just recharge, not just physically but more so mentally. Hopefully, we will finish the eliminations strong and make a push for the playoffs,” he added.
Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Ray Parks have been leading the charge and Alapag isn't worried that the team will lose momentum due to the long break.
“We have some guys who are nursing injuries especially Balk (Balkman) and Justin (Brownlee) playing heavy minutes along with Ray (Parks). I think this comes at a good time for us. It gives the guys an opportunity to be away from each other a little bit and not just be fresh physically but also mentally," said the Alab coach.
Alapag is also confident Alab Pilipinas will not lose focus due to the respite, reminding his players about the ultimate goal of the team.
“The goal was not to win four, five games in a row. The goal is to be there in the end,” he said.
“I’m proud of the work they put on but the job is not yet done. Our vision for this season is for bigger things ahead. At the same time, I’m proud of their effort everyday and we will take a few offs for the guys to recharge and get ready for March 4,” added Alapag.