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PBA: Alapag optimistic with Bolts’ chances

After nearly making it to the finals in the previous conference, Meralco’s veteran guard Jimmy Alapag is confident the Bolts are ready to take the next step as they aim for their first finals stint in the season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup set to begin July 15.

Meralco was a win away from advancing to the championship round in the Commissioner’s Cup but lost to Alaska in the do-or-die Game 5 of their semifinal series.

Alapag, however, sees a much-improved Bolts because of the experience they had playing together that saw the team finish with an 8-3 record to earn a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinal playoffs.

“Definitely. The experience of playing in the semifinals was big for the team, and that will help us move forward,” said Alapag, on his first season with the Bolts after spending his first 12 with Tropang TNT.

“We just have to work hard to prepare for the next conference, try to carry some momentum from the previous one and give our best in every game. We have good imports joining our team so it’s going to be fun,” added the 5-foot-9 former MVP.

The team will have as import Allen Durham, who played four games with the now defunct Barako Bull with averages of 25.0 points, 23.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 2014 Governors’ Cup.

Backing up Durham is Iran’s Mohammad Jamshidi, Meralco’s Asian import.