For Chot Reyes, it should hardly be a surprise that Jimmy Alapag ventured into coaching, since the decorated tactician had already seen the makings of a mentor in him during his playing years.
And if there is anyone who knows Alapag that much, it is Reyes. The two have enjoyed success together — not just with Talk ‘N Text in the PBA, but with Gilas Pilipinas as well.
“You’re saying Jimmy is coaching now. You didn’t know Jimmy was already a coach even before he became a coach,” Reyes said in his talk in the Hoop Coaches International Webinar Sunday.
“Naglalaro pa lang si Jimmy, coach na talaga siya. He had that mind already,” added the five-time Coach of the Year, who won five PBA championships with Alapag with the Tropang Texters.
Alapag served as an assistant with the Gilas program in 2015 following his retirement from international basketball. He also served as one of coach Norman Black’s deputies in Meralco.
Then in 2017, he took the head coaching role for the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, which he immediately led to the ABL championship in his first year. He has since been its chief tactician.
The 2011 PBA MVP has also been serving as an assistant to coach Leo Austria in San Miguel since 2019. He has already tasted success with the Beermen, winning two titles already.
The topic was brought up in the webinar hosted by Blackwater alternate governor Ariel Vanguardia, when Reyes was asked who among his former Gilas guys could also turn out to be coaches.
After mentioning Alapag, Reyes believes that veterans such as LA Tenorio and Gabe Norwood and the recently retired Ranidel De Ocampo all have the potential to become good mentors in the future.
All were part of Gilas 2.0 that won silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, which enabled the Philippines to enter the 2014 World Cup — and ended the country’s 36-year absence from the tilt.
“I think LA will be a great coach. I think Ranidel will turn out to be a pretty good coach with his demeanor, his understanding of the game. Gabe Norwood, certainly,” he said.
Tenorio has been into coaching already. Barangay Ginebra’s top floor general is an assistant of coach Bonnie Tan in Letran, which won the NCAA Season 95 title by toppling San Beda.
Meanwhile, De Ocampo has yet to announce his next move, but Gilas program director Tab Baldwin has said before that he’s welcome to join the team’s staff should he think of doing so.
“Everyone there will have their crack, their shot. But I think just aside from Jimmy, it’s LA, Ranidel, Gabe. I think they’re going to turn out to be pretty good coaches.”
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