WHEN it was confirmed that basketball legend Jimmy Alapag was packing his bags and heading to the States, colleagues and friends paid tribute to the PBA’s Mighty Mouse on social media.
The 42-year-old mentor is going back to the United States, where he was born, to settle down with his family for good.
According to the Alab Pilipinas head coach, his decision, although done with a heavy heart, was the best choice to make for his growing children.
TNT KaTropa standout Bobby Ray Parks, a friend and Alapag's former player in Alab, was among those who bid him farewell with a heartfelt message.
“I just want to say thank you for being a mentor, a friend, and most importantly a father figure to me. Thank you for inspiring me to be better on and off the court,” Parks wrote on his Instagram account, posting a photo of himself with the coach.
The two won a championship together in Alab Pilipinas back in 2018, Alapag's posting since 2017, a year after his retirement.
But even further back, they also went through the Gilas 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournaments together.
“You are truly the definition of what greatness is," the 6-foot-4 guard wrote. "[I'll] continue to listen to your words of wisdom and strive to be the best i can be. I wish you all the best on your next chapter and i pray for safe travels for you and the fam. One love, coach,”
The PBA legend’s long-time agent Charlie Dy and Alab assistant coach MC ABolucion also posted their own tributes, sharing their gratitude to the Mighty Mouse.
At the end of last month, Alapag had admitted that he had been thinking about moving to the United States and getting a coaching job in the NBA or in the G-League. Last week, in a vlog, both he and wife LJ Moreno revealed that they had lost a baby to miscarriage.
Charlie Dy shared: "Thanks for being my best talent and for the sincere friendship through the years. You’ll forever be family to me. Will miss our fun times with Alab Pilipinas. Will visit you when travel is allowed again.”