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Spo sobrang mahal mga Pinoy – Cone

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NAGSIMULA ang NBA Summer League journey ni coach Tim Cone kay Jimmy Alapag, hanggang dumating ang imbitasyon ni Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Nang matapos ang playing years sa PBA, naging assistant coach ng Meralco at San Miguel Beer si Alapag.

Inimbitahan din ng noo’y general manager ng Sacramento na si Vlade Divac si Alapag para maging assistant sa Kings Summer League team.

Nang mag-kampeon sa Summer League ang Kings noong isang taon, kinuha si Alapag bilang deputy ng G League team ng Sacramento, ang Stockton Kings.

Isa’t kalahating dekada nang magkaibigan sina Cone at Spo.

“It actually all started with Jimmy Alapag,” ani Cone pagkatapos ng 83-75 comeback win ng Gins kontra NLEX sa MOA Arena nitong Miyerkoles. “One day I was speaking to Erik Spoelstra, and Erik said to me, ‘Hey I heard Jimmy’s here doing something with the Sacramento Kings’ and I said yeah. Then he said, ‘Why aren’t you doing that to us?’ And I go, ‘Well, I’ve never been invited.’”

“Erik loves his Filipino roots,” dagdag ng winningest coach ng PBA.

Aalis pa-US si Cone sa June 27, apat na larong mawawala sa Ginebra at ang top deputy niyang si Richard del Rosario muna ang magtitimon sa crowd darlings sa PBA Philippine Cup habang tumatakbo ang Summer League mula July 7-18 sa San Francisco at Las Vegas. (VE)

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