Marami akong natututunan bilang isa sa coaching assistant sa summer league team ng de kalidad na team na Sacramento Kings, ayon kay Jimmy Alapag.
Sa isang panayam ng ABS-CBN North America Bureau Chief TJ Manotoc, ang San Miguel Beermen assistant at Alab Pilipinas head coach sinabi na sa unang lingo niya sa isang koponan ng NBA ay talagang kahanga-hanga, humanga talaga ako kung pano patakbuhin ang lahat ng maayos, mula sa pag hahanda, ensayo, at hangang sa oras na ng laro.
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“It’s really a science in terms of the assistants and even us helping in our own way.”
Alapag ay nagkaron ng pagkakataon mula sa presidente ng Kings na si Vlade Divac, silang dalaawa ay miyembro ng FIBA Payers Commision.
“Whether you’re a player or a coach, you’re always learning something,” said Alapag. “I think this opportunity will let me continue to grow and stretch as a coach, now that I’m making this transition.”
Ang Sacramento ay may record na 1-2 sa California Classic, na sila ang hinirang na mamuno sa Golden One Center. Ang susunod ay ang koponan ng Las Vegas Summer League, na kung saan kalahok ang trentang koponan ng NBA, at kasama pa ang sariling pambato ng China at Croatia.
“Obviously it’s a much bigger pool with all the NBA teams involved,” Alapag acknowledged. “Again I’m just excited to see these people continue to grow…fighting for a spot in training camp, and ultimately, fighting for a spot on an NBA roster. So to be able to help in that capacity, it’s a lot of fun.”
Suwerte si Alapag, at hindi lamang siya ang Pinoy doon, isa sa imbitado na coach ay ang Fil-am na si Jessica Roque, assistant para sa Ryerson University women’s Basketball team.
“I was shocked [to see here], but again, us Filipinos represent all over the world,” exclaimed Alapag. “It’s awesome to have Jessica here. She’s a great young coach as well…so it’s cool to have a fellow kababayan here in Sacramento to just go through this experience.” Alapag said.