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NATIONALS BELIEVE ALAPAG WORTHY OF FIBA-ASIA STINT

03:55 PM July 02, 2013

At 35, Jimmy Alapag doesn’t have a lot of opportunities left to represent the national team in major international competitions.

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In fact, this year may be the last.

So when asked which player should lead the squad and get rightful spot in the final 12 of the Gilas Pilipinas national team to the FIBA Asia Championship, most of the members of the pool pointed to one man.

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“It’s Jimmy,” wrote Marcus Douthit, the team’s naturalized player, in a text message to pba.ph.

“I think Jimmy needs this to complete his career. He has given his heart and soul to this country and this is the only way he can go out with a bang and to let his name be a part of history,” added the former LA Laker draftee.

Even the player who plays the same spot as Alapag endorses his inclusion in the final roster.

“Oo naman,” said Tenorio when asked if Alapag deserves a spot in the final 12. “Sobrang laking bagay ni Jimmy sa team. Not only his talent, but he’s also the leader of the team. And with his experience, malaking bagay yun. Isa siya sa buhay ng team kaya dapat lang andun siya sa final lineup.”

Alapag’s leadership is a deifinite plus, according to deadshot Gary David.

“Yung leadership niya ang malaking bagay talaga. Kaya dapat andyan siya sa final 12,” added David.

Asi Taulava, Alapag’s bosom buddy who played for the national team until he was 38 years old, also endorses the inclusion of one of the best point guards ever to play in the PBA.

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“Of course, he deserves to be on that team. He’s the leader and young guys need his leadership. They need a veteran like Jimmy,” added Taulava, who played alongside Alapag for six years in Talk N Text.

Even Chris Tiu, the previous team captain of the original SMART-Gilas national squad, knows the importance of having an Alapag on the team.

“He’s called Mighty Mouse, but he has the lion’s heart,” said Tiu. “He’s a born leader and what he had done to Talk N Text as team captain and leader of the team speaks for itself. There’s no question that Jimmy Alapag is the leader of the national team and he should be included in the final lineup. His experience, his selflessness and positive attitude are some of the traits of his personality, something which he can share to the other players and even to the coaches,” added Tiu. (RJ)

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