NLEX coach Yeng Guiao praised Kevin Alas for the way he has performed inside the PBA bubble despite two ACL injuries that hounded him the past two seasons.
Alas is playing as if he had not endured such agony, averaging 15.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists through four games for the Road Warriors.
“That goes to show you yung kanyang mental toughness,” Guiao said after NLEX’s 102-88 win over NorthPort Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The NLEX guard first tore his right ACL during Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series against Magnolia, forcing Alas to miss the next two conferences.
It appeared that Alas is slowly getting his way back last season but once again injured the same ACL during the Philippine Cup eliminations against Meralco that sidelined him until the late stages of the Governors’ Cup.
He was struggling during his four-game stint in the Governors’ Cup, posting just 1.3 points on 25-percent shooting.
Guiao said that those experiences have enabled Alas to deal with the situation well, and it has translated with his current form.
“More than the physical barrier, it’s a mental barrier na na-overcome niya,” said Guiao. “Imagine having two ACLs in a very short time, you’d feel that your career is over. But for Kevin, it’s just starting.
“And he put in the sacrifice, he put in the hard work. And slowly he’s reaping the fruits of his effort. So it’s a testimony to his not just physical toughness, discipline and hard work, it’s really the mental aspect of it. That’s how tough it is mentally.”