By Jonas Terrado
Phoenix Pulse coach Louie Alas urged his son Kevin to take a patient approach after making his return recently from a second ACL injury.
The younger Alas went scoreless in seven minutes in the Road Warriors’ 102-94 loss to the NorthPort Batang Pier last Wednesday, his first game after being sidelined for nine months.
Kevin had been playing five games since hurting his right ACL for the first time in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals when he injured the same knee during a rebound play against Meralco.
The patriarch of the Alas family saw a glimpse of his son’s return before heading back to the locker room to prepare for his team’s match against Alaska later in the day.
For Louie, he’s hoping that the lessons of the past will result in a successful comeback.
“Sabi ko sa kanya, take your time at maging lesson sayo yung nangyari na talagang nagmamadali ka,” said the Fuel Masters mentor, whose playing career was cut short in the 90s due to a similar ACL injury.
“Ang pinaka-importante sa lahat, more than your body — kasi yung body niya super lakas nanaman ngayon e, yung mindset mo na pag sumama laro niya, it’s normal kasi wala ka pa sa rhythm. Pag sumama laro mo, ibang basketball matters ang i-focus mo, lalong-lalo na yung mental toughness,” he added.
While NLEX doesn’t want to rush things in order to avoid a reprisal, teammate Kiefer Ravena believes Alas will be an asset by the time the playoffs begin.
“We’re happy to have him. He’s another weapon that we can use in the playoffs,” Ravena said. “He’s going to be fresh for the quarterfinals. Hindi pa siya nakikitang maglaro ng iba for quite some time. So hopefully, we can use that to our advantage.”
Alas is still capable of playing a key role for NLEX, as evident with his past performances prior to the injury.
He averaged 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the 2018 Philippine Cup eliminations.