GILAS Pilipinas icon and former PBA MVP Jimmy Alapag left the country together with his family for the U.S on Tuesday amid the growing uncertainty brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Charlie Dy, who for a long time represented the six-time PBA champion and captain of the Philippine men’s basketball team, confirmed the departure of the Alapags.
“Yes, they’re waiting to board for LA,” Dy said in a short text message to SPIN.ph.
Their departure to the US came just barely a week after Alapag's wife, actress and TV host LJ Moreno, suffered a miscarriage six weeks into her pregnancy.
Alapag, a native of San Bernardino, California, left together with children Ian, Keona, and Calen.
Dy expressed sadness seeing the 42-year-old Alapag go - a sentiment shared no doubt by a lot of Filipino fans.
"Nakakapanibago because he's really a basketball icon na dito sa Pilipinas," said the popular players' agent.
Alapag was a first-round pick (10th overall) by Talk `N Text in the 2003 PBA draft and played in the league until 2016, when he came out of retirement and play one season for the Meralco Bolts.
After winning Rookie of the Year, he carved out a great career that saw him win six championships with the TnT franchise, MVP honors in 2011, Finals MVP twice, Best Player of the Conference award once (in the 2011 Commissioner's Cup), three Mythical First Team selections, and a three-point shootout title (2003).
He was an 11-time All-Star who retired as the league's all-time leader in career three-point shots made.
Alapag was also named part of the PBA's 40 Greatest Players of all time.