‘Mighty Mouse’ & his ‘Happy Wife’
KAPATID DAY - Peachy Vibal-Guioguio (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2014 - 12:00am

Watching Jimmy Alapag on the hardcourt is like watching a whirlwind in sneakers. He definitely suits his Mighty Mouse moniker because despite his relatively short height (in professional basketball standards), his big and mighty heart for the game makes the greatest impact for his team and their legions of followers.

This proud member of the PBA’s Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters team was named the 2003 PBA Rookie of the Year. But it was in the FIBA Asia Championship Games here in Manila last year where Jimmy left an indelible mark in the game of basketball, in the biggest stage of them all, when his heroics and three-point bombs helped push the Philippine Gilas team in the rarefied air of Asian basketball supremacy and gave the Philippine team a ticket to the FIBA World Championship in Spain — a first after a 40-year absence on  the world basketball stage.

When Jimmy made his return to the PBA this season after his stint with Gilas Pilipinas, LJ was watching the game

Indeed, Jimmy has fond memories of his FIBA experience. “A proud moment not just for myself and for my family. It was a proud moment for Philippine basketball and for our country. And to really share that joy with everybody and with all of our supporters and our kababayan who spend their hard-earned money and time to support us there. And again, to have my wife and my son and my parents be there to share that whole experience, it meant a lot.” Family, of course, is his wife LJ Moreno, also a TV star in her own right with a forthcoming show for TV5, Happy Wife Happy Life, and a successful entrepreneur with a string of bakeshops to her name. How they teamed up, broke up and reunited is a story for the books.

According to LJ, she met Jimmy through common friends. “At first, it was just in passing but when we became friends and got to talk more, I found him very attractive.” They were a couple for more than three years until they broke up. “During our break-up I focused on my relationship with God rather than jumping into another relationship. My prayer during those times was for God to lead me to the man He prepared specifically for me. I had no idea that He was going to lead me back to Jimmy. Once we reconnected, he proposed six months after,” she said.

“It was the end of my rookie year, in 2003, when we started spending time together, and that went from there,” Jimmy shared, adding that their break-up was life-changing for him. “It was funny. It was one of those things that when we crossed paths again, we started by looking back at what happened before in our relationship and realizing that there was a lot more of good than there was bad. And if we were going to try again, the communication part should be much better and that we have to be more mature about what was going on with our relationship.”

So what’s the future now for this dynamic couple? According to LJ, there is the new TV show in the works and her own business to manage. “I just started franchising my business, The Lollicake Factory, and we now have  branches in Batangas City, San Pedro, Laguna, Robinsons Magnolia, Save More Acacia Estates Taguig, Filinvest Mall Alabang, and we’re opening two more in Angeles, Pampanga and Cavite. It has been an amazing year. Being blessed with an adorable son, getting pregnant with our daughter who’s due anytime, Jimmy’s great performance in FIBA, plus the new show Happy Wife Happy Life — God has been so good to us and I’m thankful every single day!”

Jimmy, on the other hand, is on the verge of making the biggest decision in his career. “Right now, my focus is on this PBA season. Again, I’m very realistic and I’ve always held myself to a certain standard for how I expect to play. I know that I’m much closer to the end of my career. I’ll be 37 in a couple of months. I’m just really keeping my options open. You know that the end is near. I want to do my best this season to give a championship to Talk ’N Text once I re-join the team. I’m sure some time later during this season I’ll have a better idea of what I’ll do — whether it’s the end of a career and the start of something new or maybe I’ll continue playing.”


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