EVEN in retirement, Jimmy Alapag won’t be missing the game of basketball.
Alapag is set to be named deputy coach of Gilas Pilipinas 5.0 who will serve as one of the assistants of new coach Chot Reyes, according to a highly-reliable SPIN.ph source.
The 39-year-old one-time PBA MVP was offered the post shortly before he officially announced his second retirement from the game on Thursday.
Reyes has yet to identify his coaching staff, although already on board as lead assistant is former TNT Katropa coach Jong Uichico and predecessor Tab Baldwin, who is back as team consultant.
Uichico said he’s not yet sure if Alapag will be coming on board since Reyes and the Gilas team haven’t met and sat together since Reyes was re-appointed as national team mentor three weeks ago.
He also doesn’t know if the previous assistant coaches under Baldwin will remain with Gilas. Along with him, other fellow deputies who worked with Baldwin were Alex Compton, Norman Black, Josh Reyes, and Nash Racela, who was recently named new coach of the Tropang Texters.
Compton hasn’t been notified on whether he’ll stay with the national team or not, but welcomes the entry of Alapag, who he said will really be a big help for this latest batch of Gilas.
“He (Alapag) is such a great leader that he will have a positive impact wherever he goes and whatever he does,” said the Alaska coach of the player who owns the most number of three-point shots made in the 41-year history of the pro league.
Alapag actually hinted about a possible stint with the national team when he made mention about ‘helping the next generation of basketball players in our country’ during his video message in which he announced his retirement.
“This isn’t goodbye. I’ll be seeing you guys soon,” said the Fil-Am guard, who helped Meralco achieved a runner-up finish for the first time in franchise history after losing to Barangay Ginebra in the finals of the Governors Cup.