IS Jimmy Alapag and his family leaving the country for good?
Moving to the U.S. is indeed on the table for the Alapags, according to a close friend of the one-time PBA MVP and head coach of the San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas teamin the ABL.
“With the uncertainties going on now, they are contemplating on going back to the U.S.,” said longtime Alapag confidante Charlie Dy, who also owns the Alab Pilipinas team.
“Nasa U.S. kasi ang family ni Jimmy so they will be closer to them.”
Alapag, 42, also serves as deputy coach at San Miguel Beer in the PBA, but really has his hands full taking care of business for Alab Pilipinas, which he steered to the championship of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) in 2018.
But with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABL decided to scrap its current season as the home-and-away format of the league requires constant travelling which will be hard to do considering the restrictions worldwide.
Dy believes even the 2020-2021 season of the regional league likewise remains indefinite.
“The ABL calendar runs from November to May. But with the way things are going, I don’t even think the league can take off this November,” said Dy, also one of the country’s top players’ agents.
Until its current season was cancelled, Alab Pilipinas (10-6) was running second behind league leader Mono Vampire of Thailand (12-4).
San Miguel coach Leo Austria is unaware of Alapag’s plan to move back to the U.S., saying he hasn’t talked to the six-time PBA champion, a native of San Bernardino, California, for quite a while now.
A text message to San Miguel management by SPIN.ph has yet to get a reply as of post time.
Alapag, who was also SPIN.ph's Sportsman of the Year in 2014 after leading Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain, is still willing to continue calling the shots for Alab Pilipinas even if he’s already in the U.S, Dy said.
“Anytime naman, puwede siyang bumalik especially if the situation already normalizes,” he added.
But three of his children could likely remain in California especially once they begin studying there.
If plans do push through, the Lollicake Factory of Alapag’s wife, actress and host LJ Moreno, could likewise stop operations.