Bukas pa rin ang pinto ni San Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag na maging coach ng isang college team kahit na tinanggihan na nito ang unang alok ng La Salle Green Archers.
Kinumpirma ng dating Gilas Pilipinas team captain ang alok ng La Salle matapos mabigo ang mga ito na makatungtong sa Final Four ng nagdaang UAAP Season 81.
“It was just the timing. Maybe sometime down the road,” wika ng Mighty Mouse ng Philippine basketball.
Sa pagtanggi ni Alapag, tinapik ng La Salle si Jermaine Byrd bilang bago nitong head coach. Naging coach si Byrd ng Tulsa 66ers, Sioux Falls Skyforce at L.A. Defenders ng NBA G-League.
Sinabi ni Alapag na walang choice kundi tanggihan ang nasabing offer, dahil magkakasabay ang paghahanda ng tropa sa Season 82 at ang kampanya ng Alab sa ABL sa Enero 2019.
“They asked if I was interested in the job. I was very interested. I thought it was a great opportunity to coach a distinguished program like La Salle. I didn’t go to college here but I know the history and tradition. I was really blown away by the opportunity,” sabi ni Alapag.
Bagama’t hindi ito tinanggap ni Alapag, malaki pa rin ang pasasalamat sa tiwalang ibinigay sa kanya at pagkakataong ito.
“I was humbled by the offer. I appreciate Boss Danding (Cojuangco) for reaching out. I felt it was a great opportunity not just to be part of La Salle but the opportunity to coach college kids,” dagdag nito. (Fergus E. Josue, Jr.)