JUST like the great Michael Jordan, Jimmy Alapag expressed his comeback with Gilas Pilipinas in just two words.
The diminutive yet talented point guard who made a remarkable impression in the Fiba World Cup, decided one more time to carry the national colors after agreeing to suit up for Gilas in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea set to start next week.
Coach Chot Reyes was again the first one to break the news Thursday when he posted on his tweeter account@coachot a photo of him in a meeting with the Talk `N Text playmaker.
A corresponding tweet accompanied the photo that says, “Just finished mtg w Jimmy Alamat, er @JAlapag3 . 2 words – “I'm in.”
The two words signifying Alapag’s commitment to the national team recalled to mind the same way Jordan did when he faxed a two-word message that read “I’m back” to the office of the Chicago Bulls in the 1994-95 NBA season, signifying his comeback in basketball after more than a year of retirement.
The presence of Alapag, once dubbed by legendary Lebanese cager Fhadi El-Khatib as the best point guard in Asia, is definitely a big boost to Gilas, whose bid to break a 54-year-old gold medal drought suffered a major blow after Asiad organizers didn’t allow naturalized player Andray Blatche to see action for the team owing to a residency technicality.
Alapag is expected to take the place of the injured Jayson Castro, who sat out Gilas’ final preliminary game in the World Cup against Senegal due to knee tendonitis.
The former PBA Most Valuable Player was initially left out by Reyes in the submitted team roster to the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (IAGOC), opting instead to enlist big guard Jared Dillinger in his place.
But following his scintillating showing in the World Cup especially in the games against Argentina and Senegal, Reyes was convinced Alapag would definitely be a big help for Gilas in its Asiad campaign.
His stint with the national team meant Alapag will have to put on hold his retirement from international play for one last time.