IN what’s been a forgettable PBA season so far for NLEX, Road Warriors guard Kevin Alas found his call-up to Gilas Pilipinas as a start of something positive.
In this season, Alas and the Road Warriors have just won four games against 18 losses, but despite the losing record, the 6-foot-1 combo guard’s heady play still earned him the call-up to the national team pool.
Alas has been one of the few bright spots in the struggling NLEX side, putting up 10.1 points, three rebounds and 2.5 assists while coming off the bench for coach Yeng Guiao.
That’s why Alas is just thankful to get a shot at playing for the country again, a few years after suiting up for the Jong Uichico-mentored Gilas cadets in the 2013 SEA Games.
“Grateful ako for the chance to be in the Gilas pool again. It’s an honor kasi every time you play for the national team, masaya ako,” Alas said who admitted that he was surprised with the call-up considering their struggles for the season.
“Siyempre happy ako. Surprised din ako, kasi I’m not playing that well din. Pero siyempre I’m happy na I got the chance to be in the pool again,” he added.
The key for Alas now is adjusting to his new teammates, though he expressed confidence in playing under coach Chot Reyes’ dribble drive system.
While he finds mostly new faces in his return to Gilas, Alas is happy to be reunited with former Letran and PBA D-League teammate Raymond Almazan who has also enjoyed a banner year after making his national team debut in the recently concluded SEABA Basketball Championships.
“Siguro with the system, dribble drive, familiar ako. The difference lang is ibang players mga kasama ko, I have to adjust to them at the same time. Pero with the system of coach Chot naman, kaunting adjustments na lang,” Alas said.
“Tagal naming magkasama sa Letran at teammates pa kami sa Cebuana sa D-League. Talagang very close kami ni Raymond kaya masayang masaya ako na magkasama ulit kami,” Alas said of Almazan.
Regardless if he’s included in the upcoming William Jones Cup lineup next month, or the SEA Games which follows it, Alas hopes that this stint with the pool rubs off in his play with his mother club as they look to forget the past two conferences and hope for the best outcome in the upcoming Governor’s Cup.
“It’s a positive thing siyempre. For one, grateful ako sa chance. At the same time it gives the confidence ulit. Hopefully, pag naglaro ako sa NLEX makakatulong ako better,” said Alas.