JIMMY Alapag will always be welcomed should he intend to go back and rejoin San Miguel in the near future.
Team manager Gee Abanilla disclosed the 42-year-old former PBA MVP and who was part of the Beermen’s coaching staff last season, talked to San Miguel top brass led by President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang days before he and his family left for Los Angeles Tuesday night to start a new life.
Abanilla said Alapag is more than willing to work with the champion franchise if the opportunity presents itself anew.
“Hindi naman siya nagpapaalam na sarado na yung pinto. Hindi niya naman pinuputol yung relationship. Ang sinasabi lang niya is he wants to take some time out to attend to his family,” said the San Miguel official. “But in the future, he’s not taking away the possibility na yung opportunity baka mag-present ulit.”
Abanilla, the former San Miguel coach turned executive, said he’s not privy to Alapag's deal as deputy coach, saying it's franchise governor Robert Non who's the one in-charge as far as contract matters are concerned.
But Alapag did pay courtesy to Ang, SMC Sports Director Alfrancis Chua, Non, and Abanilla and talk to them about his plans.
He also bade goodbye to the entire San Miguel team, where he won two championships in the season he was with the Beermen.
“But through text messages na lang kasi nga bihira naman magkasama yung team ng buo ngayon,” said Abanilla.
Alapag’s family is his priority right now, according to Abanilla, especially with his elders at this time of the global pandemic.
“Ang sinasabi niya sa akin kasi yung father and mother niya matanda na rin. And sila nung kapatid niya wants to spend the remaining time with them,” said the SMC official.
“And susubukan din daw niya na magkaroon ng (coaching) opportunity habang nandoon siya.”
Alapag worked as part of the staff of the Sacramento Kings during the NBA Summer League last year and hopes the experience would open the opportunity for him to be able to land a job at either the G League or the NBA.
In as much as San Miguel wanted Alapag to stay, Abanilla said the team understood his situation.
“Mahirap namang pigilan yun kasi pamilya (ang involved),” he added.
“Whatever naman, suportado namin yung decision niya. Nag-paalam naman siya ng mabuti.”
Alapag was no longer able to attend the workouts of San Miguel at the Acropolis gym as he was already pre-occupied with plans of moving to the US by the time team trainings were allowed to proceed three weeks ago.
A SPIN.ph source confirmed Alapag already sold most of his properties in the country reportedly to the tune of P50 million.
He left with wife, actress and television personality LJ Moreno along with their kids, Ian, Keona, and Calen.