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Jimmy Alapag retires

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The playing career of one of the greatest to ever set foot in the PBA has officially come to an end.

Jimmy Alapag, former league MVP, Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters superstar, and Gilas Pilipinas standout, has retired.

"For me, it's time," Alapag told the media during a press conference at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, January 9, 2015 prior to game two of the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Finals between the Alaska Aces and San Miguel Beermen.

"I think every player, sooner or later, has to see the end of the road. And I don't think you ever really know when that day will come… for me, the time is now. I'm very fortunate to have been with the Talk 'N Text company, franchise, and family for my career."

Alapag was picked 10th overall in the 2003 PBA draft and was that season's rookie of the Year. In 2011, Alapag was honored as the league MVP.

"The Mighty Mouse" is a 6-time champion and a nine-time all-star. He was also included in the PBA's Mythical First Team three times in his career (2003, 2005, 2011), and was also part of the league's All-Defensive First team in 2003. Alapag led the PBA in assists in six different seasons.

Alapag was also a key piece in the Gilas Pilipinas teams that won silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and participated in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

The 5-foot-9 playmaker will now assume the team manager role for the Tropang Texters and will be one of Head Coach Tab Baldwin's assistant coaches for Gilas Pilipinas.

"I'm incredibly excited about the opportunity and the challenge it presents," Alapag said about his new jobs.

"I've only had the job officially for a few hours. We're still waiting for our import (for the Commissioner's Cup)… again, I think it's one of those challenges where every day I'll learn more and more about the job," he elaborated about his new position with Talk 'N Text.

"Helping Coach Tab, it will really be a learning process for me", also mentioned Alapag, whose jersey will be retired next PBA conference, according to Chairman Pato Gregorio.

"We will all miss his leadership and contributions," TNT chief patron, Manny V. Pangilinan, said about Alapag's retirement through Gregorio. "Thank you, Jimmy. Good-bye. But also, welcome back."

– Rappler.com