Former teammate Alapag believes young players will learn from coach RDO
Jimmy Alapag believes the transition from player to coach will be smooth for former teammate Ranidel de Ocampo when he starts his role as an assistant at TNT KaTropa.
De Ocampo became part of the KaTropa coaching staff a couple of months after announcing his retirement, and Alapag sees him imparting plenty of things under his new role.
“I’m very excited for Del,” Alapag told the Manila Bulletin via Facebook Messenger.
“He brings an incredible amount of value to TNT with his knowledge and experience. He’s an absolute winner on and off the court, so I’m sure the young players there will learn a lot from him.”
The 38-year-old Caviteño will look to follow in the footsteps of Alapag, who upon his retirement in 2016 ventured into coaching as an assistant at Meralco before finding success calling the shots for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League.
“I think he’ll have a seamless transition as a coach. Aside from his versatile skill set as a player, he also has a very high level basketball IQ. He’ll definitely be a valuable part of their staff,” said the current San Miguel Beer assistant coach.
Alapag said having De Ocampo will be beneficial for the likes of Troy Rosario and Poy Erram, who was acquired from NLEX in an offseason trade last February.
Rosario and Erram, big men known for their versatility much like De Ocampo during his playing career, can learn a thing or two from their new coach, Alapag said.
“RDO was one of the best to ever play in his position, so I think Troy and Poy will benefit greatly by getting the chance to work with Del on a daily basis,” Alapag said. “I have no doubt he’ll be a great mentor to both of them as they move forward in their respective careers.”
De Ocampo retired last April after a 15-year PBA career with Air21, TNT and Meralco coupled with memorable stints as a member of Gilas Pilipinas in the 2012 William Jones Cup, 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and 2014 FIBA World Cup.