JIMMY Alapag said Meralco can only get better as the PBA season wears on, staying optimistic about the team’s future even after its early exit from the season-opening Smart Bro-Philippine Cup.
Although frustrated by the Bolts’ woeful 1-10 record at the end of their campaign in the all-Filipnio conference, the Meralco skipper remained undaunted as he’s fully aware of the team's potential.
“Honestly when you lose and we lose so many close games, there is a level of frustration,” he said shortly after the Bolts played their final game in the conference - a 97-87 loss to Rain or Shine on Wednesday night.
“But again even despite that, you have to keep working and pushing collectively as a team to get better. If we can find a way to get through our struggles now, we will reap the benefits of our work and stay the course later on this season.”
Alapag knows the achievements he’s done for Talk ‘N Text cannot be duplicated easily, having won six titles with the telecommunication franchise before his first pro retirement.
He didn’t expect his new team will be booted out too early.
“When you have a new team, it always takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, at least rarely,” he said. “But to struggle the way we did, I don’t think any of us expected to be at the bottom.”
But the former Gilas team member is encouraging his young team to hold on instead of letting their frustrations boil over.
“When you struggle, it’s easy to get off the train and let go. But when you struggle, it’s the most important time to really hold on and if you could do that, things will get better. And I truly believe that we will get better, but at the same time we have to do the work,” Alapag said.
Carrying daughter Keona Skye on his arms, Alapag ended the interview with a vow.
“I was brought here to help this team and things will get better, that’s a promise,” he said before wishing everybody a Merry Christmas.