Jimmy Alapag credits Norman Black, NBA’s Stevens, Popovich for champion coaching mentality
MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in 5 years, the Philippines is again home to the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Championship. This was done largely thanks to Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, Ray Parks, and of course, the rookie head coach of San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, Jimmy Alapag.
In a Rappler Talk, the Mighty Mouse bared his thoughts on the ups and downs of his first-ever coaching gig, which immediately resulted in an ABL title for the 6-time PBA Champion.
He credited his coaching scheme that ultimately brought him success to his former coach in the Meralco Bolts, Norman Black.
“It’s something that I learned from Coach Norman where I would watch the game and really break down possession by possession,” he said.
“What we’re doing, what they’re doing and making notes. By the time the game’s done 3 or 4 hours later, you have 7, 8, 9 pages of notes that you can go over and study.”
He also drew inspiration from whom he thought were the top coaches in the NBA, Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics and Greg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
“Those two guys right now are really at the top of the NBA in coaching,” he said. “And not just with how they coach the game, but it’s really the culture that they established with their players.”
“It’s something that every coach should try to aspire to achieve,” he added. “To build that culture where it’s not just a team, but a family and a brotherhood. And I think when you do that, you put yourself in a position to be successful.”
But he warned other players thinking of transitioning into coaching that it won’t be easy at all.
“Get ready to watch a lot – a lot – of video,” he emphasized. “There were countless, countless nights where that I’ll be up until 3 or 4 AM watching video.”
“When you’re playing, you can just focus on yourself and how you can play better,” he added. “You’re solely focused on how you’re doing and how you can improve. But when you’re coaching, you’re not only focused on how your team can be better, but you’re also looking at the opponent – what they’re running, what’s their tendencies and such.”
Although Alapag has not been approached with any new coaching offers, potential employers can rest easy knowing that this former floor general has not lost his championship mettle in his transition to the sidelines. – Rappler.com