By Jonas Terrado
Coach Jimmy Alapag is excited at what new addition Sam Deguara will provide for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas when their ASEAN Basketball League campaign resumes Sunday against the Singapore Slingers in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Alab made a big move last week when it tapped the 7-foot-4 center from Malta as a replacement for Adrian Forbes as the Philippine club hopes to improve on its 1-1 slate in the regional tournament.
“He gives us such a big presence on both ends of the floor,” Alapag said, adding that his familiarity with Alab guard Jason Brickman will play an important role.
Deguara and Brickman were teammates with Thailand’s Mono Vampire when it lost to Alab in the ABL Finals in 2018.
“I think the great part of us that even though bago siya for us, he and Jason have played together for so long. Hopefully that would fast track the chemistry with the team,” added Alapag.
Alab has been struggling for form since the start of the season, losing its opener to Mono 111-76 in Nonthaburi, Thailand before escaping the Macau Wolf Warriors in overtime 114-110 in Foshan, China.
The Filipino club took a long break due to the recent Southeast Asian Games that saw Alapag serving as an assistant to coach Tim Cone.
Alab will play three games this month, including Tuesday’s home match against Mono at The Arena in San Juan and a road game opposite the Formosa Dreamers on Dec. 22 in Changhua, Taiwan.