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Philippine Basketball Association

Alapag bags MVP honors, Al-Hussaini is Rookie of the Year

August 14, 2011 8:50pm

One of the smallest men in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) proved to be the biggest for this season.

Talk `N Text playmaker Jimmy Alapag had his crowning glory Sunday night when he was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Asia’s pioneering pro league during the annual Leo Awards at the Araneta Coliseum, besting Petron’s Arwind Santos and the popular Mark Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra.

Considered as the heart-and-soul of the Tropang Texters, Alapag played a key role in getting the telecommunication franchise to where it is at the moment – a title removed from completing a historic Grand Slam.

And while his team may be on track to achieving the rare honor, Alapag already basked in the glory ahead of the rest of the Tropang Texters.

Only the fifth point guard to win the MVP trophy, Alapag said he never once thought of bagging the award ever since he learned the rudiments of the sport.

“Ever since I’ve been playing basketball, I’ve never gone before the start of the season working hard to win an MVP," said the player known as the `Mighty Mouse’. “It’s always about winning championships. If I ever was blessed, it was a huge honor.

“It’s been a special year. The journey isn’t quite done yet."

Commissioner Chito Salud and chairman Rene Pardo awarded the MVP trophy to Alapag, who followed Robert Jaworski Sr, Ricky Brown, Johnny Abarrientos and Jay-Jay Helterbrand as only the fifth playmaker to win the award.

The Talk `N Text veteran offered the award in behalf of his team’s coaching staff, teammates, family and wife, actress LJ Moreno.

Alapag compiled 1,888 points to bag the league’s highest individual title, winning over Santos, the Best Player of the Governors Cup (1,687) and Caguioa (1,317).

The three of them also comprised the Mythical team together with Alaska’s Sonny Thoss and Alapag’s Talk `N Text teammate Kelly Williams.

Another Talk `N Text stalwart in Jason Castro leads the second Mythical Team, along with teammate Ali Peek, B-Meg’s James Yap and Joe Devance, and Jay Washington, the Best Player of the Conference in the Philippine Cup, of Petron.

As expected, Rabeh Al-Hussaini was the hands down choice as the Rookie of the Year.

Santos led the All-Defensive unit along with Marc Pingris of B-Meg and Ryan Reyes of Talk ‘N Text. But the selection of Ginebra’s Willie Wilson and John Wilson surprised a lot of people as the two beat out perennial All-Defensive members Williams and Thoss.

Meanwhile, Thoss took the Sportsmanship award, while Castro was deservedly named the Most Improved Player. -- OMG, GMA News
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