GET BETTER NOW ZOOMセミナー 2020 第7回振り返り

Hello everyone, the 7th GBN seminar on May 23 was held as the Philippine Legends’ Jimmy Alapag took the stage! Thanks to everyone who joined us!




I met Mr. Alapag at a clinic in Macau about two years ago. I was determined to let people in Japan know that there are many great coaches like him in all over Asia. Mr. Konagakichi, a basketball writer who is specialized in FIBA Asia competitions over the last decade described Coach Alapag that “He possessed 『Kenichi Sako’s(The Japanese “Mr. Basketball”) leadership, the passion of Yuko Oga (Ex-WNBA player also a Japanese legend), and the shooting ability of Takehiko Orimo (another legend who recently retired at the age of 49).』 Quite a compliment for a player. But if you have seen Jimmy Alapag plays, you know it is not a compliment, it is a fact. He was such a great player that he was considered as the soul of the Philippines. Now he’s an assistant coach for the Philippine national team and he the head coach of a team in the ASEAN League and already has won a championship. I am sure that the participants of the seminar in May were well-convinced how good it would be to play for this coach.

Trust, Execution, Accountability, and Motivation are which he emphasized in his seminar. I’d like to touch on Motivation in depth again next time, but it was very interesting to learn his view of how to build relationships with players and how to manage the team. He made it sound really simple, but I was very impressed with his ability to explain such a complicated manner in a simple way.




Anyway, for the young players and coaches, I think it’s important to know what kind of coaches are in Asia and what kind of basketball Asian teams are playing. For the past five years, I have had many coaches asked me, “I want to be a national team coach and go to the Tokyo Olympics, how can I get there?” I always replied, “Why?” The answer is usually, “Because I want to be a part of Tokyo Olympics,” or “To gain experience for my future.” However, for me, representing the country is not about fulfilling a personal dream or gaining personal experience. So I always proceed with next question: “Why would the national team be stronger if they hire you? Why should the association hire you?” “How many national team games have you watched? And how do you think we can beat the Philippines or Korea?” But no one I have ever asked could answer that question. At the same time, I felt that Asia is taken so lightly.

Inevitably, young coaches in Japan are studying mainly from the NBA, and maybe a little bit of the European games. Coaches in the B-League exchange information with each other or learn from foreign coaches probably. Of course, that is also very important. However, if you really want to represent the country in the future, I strongly suggest not to take Asian countries lightly. Coaching in Asia has really advanced rapidly right now, and there are a lot of great coaches here. And the Philippines has strengthened tremendously in the last 10 years. South Korea, China and Lebanon are all very strong. Iran has a very good program. If you think about it, Japan is about the 7th or 8th best team in Asia. When I was involved in the national team, I had thought that Japan was always in the top three in Asia, and that’s how it should be. But when I actually went in and looked at the results of the Asian Championships going back to the previous 20 years, the average ranking was 7.8. This was a actual number. But I think many people are under the impression that we have been and we should be top 3 in Asia all the time. This is not based on facts. In order for us to win in Asia from now on, it is important to learn more about Asia and acknowledge that there are great coaches, including Mr. Alappag, and very good teams in Asia. Also the number of ex-NBA players is slowly increasing in Asia. Right now, Japan is getting feared quite a bit with the emergence of Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe, but other teams are also improving. We have to try our best to keep it up with the pace of other countries’ improvement. I hope that all of our young coaches will have that in mind and be exposed to Asia more. I sincerely wish them the best of luck!




I am so grateful to Alapag for agreeing to this request and sharing us a great story! He also said he wanted to take this opportunity to bring the team to Japan, so we will have this kind of talk again at some point in the future. I would like to give you the opportunity to hear Also, Ms. Konagayoshi, who appeared on the show this time. She respects Asian countries also, and has been to Korea and Philippines to learn directly from two Asian powerhouses. She is also a wonderful person, and once again, she was willing to participate in this event with free of charge, and was generously sharing all the information with us. Coaches, let’s keep learning and move forward!


(東頭コーチ談 スタッフ書)