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Alapag concedes slow first half cause of Alab's loss on his coaching debut

Alab Pilipinas' head coach Jimmy Alapag hopes that there is a lot in store for his team after HK Eastern spoiled his debut. Dennis Jerome Acosta/Dugout Philippines
By Kevin Estrada

PASAY CITY -- Jimmy Alapag concedes that he has a lot to learn as a neophyte head coach, after Hong Kong Eastern doused cold water into Alab Pilipinas' season opener Sunday evening at the MOA Arena.

The Mighty Mouse admits that the ABL champions got them on a slow start in the first 20 minutes and survived a wild second half to eke out a close away win to start the season.

"I think the first half really hurt us. In a 40-minute game, it's really important that you work at a more efficient rate," Alapag said after emerging from the Alab dugout an hour after their close setback to the former Long Lions.

With just ten days to go until to their next game in Sta. Rosa against Singapore, the Gilas legend stressed the sense of urgency for the entire game after a late second-half uprising just came up short.

"I was very pleased with our effort in the second half. Pero kelangan not just 20 minutes. It needs to be a 40-minute effort," he said afterwards.

He felt bad that he let the 5,094 fans inside the arena down hoping for a win to start his career manning the sidelines, but he will bring home all the positives for this and move forward to face the Slingers in which Alab lost in their first-ever ABL game last year.

"Just ok," he said on his coaching debut as he shifts focus to last season's finalists."As soon as I put my kids to bed, I'll be watching the video tonight."

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada