Veteran cager Jimmy Alapag will come out of retirement to join the Meralco Bolts in the 41st season of Philippine Basketball Association according to team manager Virgil Villavicencio.
Talk ‘N Text, Alapag’s former team, participated in a three-way trade involving Meralco and Blackwater on Friday that sent Alapag first to Blackwater to get the service of 6’6 Larry Rodriguez. Blackwater later on traded with Meralco to get Mike Cortez and James Sena in exchange of Alapag.
Villavicencio said he sees Alapag, 36, providing leadership and stability to the Meralco Bolts next season. Blackwater, on the other hand, believes veteran playmaker Cortez would provide energy and leadership to the team while Sena is a big man who can provide firepower in the shaded lane.
“Alapag’s leadership is very valuable to any team and we are glad that he’ll join us next season. The trade was submitted yesterday but it was approved by PBA only today [Friday],” Villavicencio told The Manila Times on Friday in a phone interview. “He’ll be a good addition to us as he provides stability.”
“I presume that he will join us in the US for Meralco’s training. But if Gilas will include him in the line up, I think Meralco needs to wait. Meralco coaches will also evaluate him, but I think we are not going to get him if we are not just going to use him.”
Alapag is with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan and Manny Pacquiao at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup host announcement ceremony in Tokyo, Japan.
Alapag retired from professional basketball and the Gilas Pilipinas national team in January.