HELP is on the way for Talk `N Text as veteran guard Jimmy Alapag is eyeing to play his first game with the team this week against expansion franchise Kia Motors.
The diminutive playmaker originally planned to suit up in the Tropang Texters’ PBA Philippine Cup game against Rain or Shine on Sunday, but postponed his return after experiencing some tightness in his hamstring.
“I’m getting better. I’ve been slowly working myself into practice. I was actually hopeful I can play tomorrow (Sunday) but a couple of days ago, I had tightness with my hamstring, so anytime you deal with hamstring, you always want to be on the cautious side,” Alapag told Spin.ph after Talk ‘N Text’s practice on All Saint’s Day at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside the Ateneo campus.
Alapag has been on leave from the team for the past month after spending the offseason playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
But the 5-foot-6 guard said he maintained a regular physical activity during his month-long break to make sure getting into game shape won't be as hard once he rejoins the Tropang Texters this Friday against the Sorento at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“We’re targeting Friday (to play his first game) hopefully so that way, after the game tomorrow, I still have a full week of practice, so I can get out there and scrimmage a little bit with the team since it’s been a month since I was out of the basketball court,” added the 36-year-old point guard.
Part of his conditioning includes running, doing plyometric workouts, and shooting in the team’s everyday practice at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center.
With his Gilas duties over and done with, Alapag intends to give his full attention to the Tropang Texters, a team that is in transition early this season with the entry of new coach Jong Uichico, along with rookies Matt Ganuelas Rosser and Kevin Alas, and veteran forward Jay Washington.
“Right now, I’m just going the process of changing gears from my responsibility with Gilas and refocusing on what we have to do here at Talk ‘N Text and try to win another championship,” he said.
Alapag averaged 9.2 points, 3.2 assists, and 1.4 rebounds in more than 21 minutes during the Fiba World Cup, helping Gilas win its last game of the tournament via an 81-79 overtime win against Senegal.
He played his last international tournament in the Asiad last September.