INCOMING PBA rookie guard Kevin Alas dreams of representing the country again.
Selected second overall in last week’s 2014 Gatorade PBA rookie draft, the six-foot guard out of Letran said watching Gilas Pilipinas nearly pull off a king-sized upset against the highly-favored Croatia side in the Philippine’s return to the Fiba World Cup on Saturday inspired him to work on his game more in the hope of getting called up by the national team in the future.
“Siyempre, first of all, I’m very proud kasi nakikita mo yung mga nakasama mo sa China, they almost had it (won against Croatia). Eh talagang kinapos lang,” Alas told Spin.ph.
“Eh ang Rain or Shine naman, di nag-stop mag-play sa Gilas so if may chance for call-up uli (at Gilas), wala nang dalawang isip,” added Alas, one of hundreds of people who joined Spin.ph’s viewing party on Saturday night at the URBN Bar and Kitchen at The Fort.
Just over a month ago, Alas wore the Gilas jersey for one last time as an amateur player, contributing off the bench in the Filipinos’ bronze medal finish in the Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.
He is set to debut as a pro this October for Rain or Shine.
Alas, the 22-year-old guard out of Letran said the national squad may be the shortest in the entire 24-team field, but the Filipinos showed everyone, including the Croatians that they are not lacking in heart.
“At least pinatunayan nila (Gilas players) na world class ang Filipino basketball players,” he said.
Alas revealed Gilas playmaker Jimmy Alapag is the one player he truly admires.
“Iyung pinakabilib ako kanina, na di ko nakasama sa (Fiba Asia Cup in) China, si kuya Jimmy. Kita mo yung willingness to win niya ibang klase,” Alas said proudly.
“So ako, as a rookie na papasok sa PBA, with his age, 30-plus na siya, he still has his heart to win. Ibang klase, gusto niya patunayan sa buong mundo na world class ang Pinoy,” added Alas, a vital cog in the Sinag Pilipinas’ gold medal finish in last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.