Meralco Bolts’ Kelly Nabong says Alapag altercation about respect, not playing time

Beatrice Go
EXCLUSIVE: "I have been misjudged many times because of how I look, because of how I carry myself and though it doesn't show, being misjudged is really hurtful," says Kelly Nabong

MOVING ON. In an exclusive statement to Rappler, Kelly Nabong apologizes for his row with Jimmy Alapag and says he will focus on whatever comes next for him. Photo by PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines – Meralco Bolts’ big man Kelly Nabong released a statement exclusively to Rappler regarding his indefinite suspension following an altercation with assistant Coach Jimmy Alapag on Tuesday, October 3 during the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals. 

In the text message, Nabong denies Meralco Bolts’ Head Coach Norman Black’s statement that the big man was “not happy due to his lack of playing time,” saying it was because he felt that he was not being given the respect he deserved as a player. 

I have been misjudged many times because of how I look, because of how I carry myself and though it doesn’t show, being misjudged is really hurtful. I won’t defend my actions at the game. I snapped and that was wrong. I have to control my emotions no matter how my coaches talk to me.

I just felt that somehow players famous or not, getting playing time or not, deserve a degree of respect too “kahit player lang ako”. I let my emotions get the best of me but no, it wasn’t because I wasn’t playing. Regardless if I get my minutes or not the coaches that have handled me know I always put the best that I could.

To Meralco Bolts, Thank you for the chance you gave me. Lastly, To those that did not judge me right away, THANK YOU, “tao lang din kasi ako” and to those that said hurtful things to me and judged me, Thank you for voicing out your thoughts. May God be with us all. -Kelly N.”

The Meralco Bolts, who swept the Star Hotshots to advance to the Governors’ Cup Finals, will be missing the services of the the Fil-Am center until a further decision has been made by the management. However, Nabong continues to support his team in their championship contention. 

“I’m just moving on to the next chapter in my life and I wish the Meralco players well with their championship contention.” –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.