TAIPEI - How far will a father go to be with his son on his birthday?
Ask Jimmy Alapag.
The Gilas Pilipinas mainstay left this city late Friday evening to attend his oldest son's birthday and returned in the ungodly hours of Sunday morning, dazed but happy to have fulfilled his promise.
Leave it to Jimmy to supply the rest of the details of the whirlwind trip, which saw him leave the hotel at 11 p.m. to catch the first flight out to Manila and arrive home before the break of dawn on Saturday.
"My son's birthday party was from one to five (in the afternoon), took my son home, then left for the airport," said Alapag, saying he got to hit the sack way past midnight after the taxi driver took him to a Chateau de Chine hotel that was different from the one the Gilas team was staying in.
"But it was all worth it," he added as he joined Gilas in the shootaround ahead of its final game in the 37th Jones Cup against Chinese Taipei's Team B.
The comebacking 5-8 guard, however, has yet to suit up as he continues to rest an injury to his left quad muscle which recurred after his only appearance in this Jones Cup against South Korea last Monday.
Alapag has rued the bad 'timing' of the injury, which has hampered his bid to join Gilas in the coming Fiba Asia championships in less than three weeks' time after coming out of retirement.
But he's not giving up at this point.
"I'll know more when we get back to Manila, see where my body is at, then talk to coach (Tab Baldwin) about it," said the hero of Gilas' win over Korea in the semifinals of the 2013 Fiba Asia in Manila.