Tonight marks the first league game of former Gilas star player Jimmy Alapag as head coach of Alab Pilipinas.
Alapag's success as a veteran player on the Asian stage will be put to the test if he can translate that to coaching a team to a win.
Alab Pilipinas will open the season of the 2017-2018 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) in a game against defending champion Hong Kong Eastern at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, 8PM.
This is Alapag's first head coaching job. He was part of the coaching staff of Meralco and Gilas Pilipinas after his retirement in 2016.
In an interview with ABS-CBN Sports, Alapag said he's excited for Alab to bring the championship home. Alab placed third in last year's ABL season.
According to Alapag, Alab's main man will be reigning MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr.
"He's definitely the leader of the team. I'm just looking for Ray to continue his progression as a player," said Alapag.
Tonight is going to be a historic game for Alapag. His debut coaching game will be held on the same arena where he and his Gilas teammates won the silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia.
"MOA Arena will always have special memories for me. That place will always have a little bit of sentimental value to myself and really, our country," he shared.
Watch the rest of ABS-CBN Sports' interview with Alapag below.