JIMMY Alapag played down his late long-range barrage for Meralco on Thursday night that moved him closer to becoming the most prolific three-point shooter in PBA history, saying his main focus is on helping the Bolts pull off an upset against TNT Katropa in the semifinals.
The wait to supplant Allan Caidic on top of the three-point shooting list appeared to be longer as the Bolts star playmaker came into Game Two still needing 10 more to surpass Caidic’s 1,242 triples.
Alapag, however, knocked down four treys in the fourth quarter alone of their 106-91 win on Thursday, leaving the 38-year-old point guard just six short of moving past the 'Triggerman.'
But that’s not his priority.
“It’s a huge honor to be mentioned with who I feel is the greatest shooter our country has ever seen,” Alapag said. “Right now, the record is really secondary, but it’s just an honor to be mentioned in that same class. He’s set the bar for shooters in our country.”
Asked if he’s going for record in this best-of-five series that’s guaranteed two more games, Alapag insisted it’s the team goal that matters more, primarily taking a 2-1 lead in the series with a win in Game Three on Saturday.
“If it happens, I’d be honored and it’d be a great accomplishment, but again, it’s secondary,” the former league MVP insisted. “My whole focus is what I can do to help our team going to Game Three.”
“We’re up against a championship team and if anybody knows that, I do,” the former TNT mainstay said. “But our team has been resilient. We’ve been resilient the whole conference and this team has grown a lot from the all-Filipino.”
Still, it’s Alapag’s three-point shooting that will prove key and deflect some of the attention of the TNT defense from import Allen Durham.
“I felt in Game One, I had some pretty good looks that just didn’t drop, but credit to the guys for helping me get open there down the stretch,” Alapag said. “That’s important. AD’s been our rock the entire conference and anything we can do to open the lane up for him, that’s better.”