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Jimmy Alapag takes the court as an assistant NBA coach


October 16 ------ Jimmy Alapag was born and raised in San Bernardino in California before he embarked on a legendary basketball career in the Philippines that spanned for 12 years. Now, he returned to Southern California as a newly named assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. The Kings faced the Los Angeles Lakers in a pre-season contest. "It means a lot," said Alapag. "There’s been a lot of different challenges the last few years, the transition after spending so much time in Manila and to be back here with my family in the States." He added: "It’s a huge blessing to be a part of the Kings Organization and be a part of Coach (Mike) Brown's staff. It's just a dream come true."


The Kings have been a team on the rise in the NBA, ending its 16-year playoff drought in the last season. Alapag had spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Kings’ G League affiliate in Stockton. Sacramento named him their player development coach this past summer. On game days, Alapag can be seen on the court hours before tip off, working with players and helping to refine their game. "It unbelievable what Coach Brown and his staff have done here in Sacramento," he said. "And to now be a part of that, [I'm] just excited to the new season and coming off a great year last year and the challenge is to build on that."


While Alapag looks to help build a winning program with the Sacramento Kings, he’s also looking back and taking some pride in a program that he has led. Over the past week, Gilas Pilipinas made history by winning its first-ever Asian Games gold medal. Alapag joined the Philippine national team in 2007 as a player and worked as an assistant coach for the team in 2016, up until he entered the NBA's G-League. "It's a historic moment for Philippine basketball," he said. "I thought they did a great job in bouncing back from the FIBA World Cup and now the challenge is how to stay consistent and take that next step for Philippine basketball."


The Kings, which won the Pacific Division last year, will begin the NBA regular season on Oct. 25 by visiting Utah Jazz and another proud Filipino baller in Jordan Clarkson.


Source: news.abs-cbn.com


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