Alapag: Alab ‘much different team’ ahead of semis duel vs Hong Kong

first_imgJudy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ “We’re gonna have our hands full, but I told the guys, let’s give ourselves an opportunity after tonight to play against the defending champs.”Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinals is on Wednesday at Southorn Stadium in Hong Kong.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ View comments P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag couldn’t have put it any better.“Anytime that you get a chance to win the championship, you got to play the best and you got to beat the best,” he said after his side advanced in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League playoffs with a 96-85 victory over Saigon to sweep their quarterfinals series on Saturday and set up a high-stakes collision course against defending champion Hong Kong Eastern.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Alapag is optimistic that the two games against Saigon have prepared them well ahead of the monumental clash against Hong Kong in the Final Four.“Saigon has so many great guards, you talk about Scott, (Moses) Morgan, and (Mikey) Williams. And Hong Kong is very similar with (Marcus) Elliott and (Tyler) Lamb, and of course, they got Christian (Standhardinger) over there, too,” he said.Alab went 0-2 for against Hong Kong in the elimination round, but a lot has changed since with the Philippines now boasting different World Imports in Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee, who led the team to the No  3 seed.That fact isn’t lost on Alapag, and he’s more than excited to test Hong Kong on a bigger stage.“We’re much, much different team compared to we were in the first half of the season. At the same time, they’re still the defending champs and they have home court advantage, so it’s going to be important for us to shift our focus as we head home and go to Hong Kong on Wednesday,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Alab came in to Ho Chi Minh City prepared for a war and they got one, something which Alapag believes will be beneficial for the Philippine-based squad in the long run.“Not an easy place to play in. It’s a loud, loud venue and it’s great to see the local community here in Saigon support their team,” he said of the boisterous CIS Arena as the Game 2 clash served as a precursor to the rowdy crowds that await Alab in the semifinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“It’s these types of environments that you live to play in and I just thought we came out, got to a good start, got to sustain it even though they shot the ball really well in the first half, fought our way through, and we came out with the win.”But it’s not only the crowd as the Heat also gave Alab all they could handle with Akeem Scott leading the way for the Vietnam crew. La Salle closes in on twice-to-beat, blanks UST Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feastlast_img read more