AS Sinag Pilipinas begins its bid to defend the basketball gold medal in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, one important piece in coach Jong Uichico's lineup will be missing.
Top point guard Kevin Louie Alas is set to miss out on Monday's opening game against Singapore after suffering from the flu since Saturday night.
The Gilas cadet, who notched an MVP plum in the Hong Kong Invitational last January, has been eager to play, but the coaching staff is not about to take the risk.
“Gusto daw niyang maglaro. Kaso ayaw ng therapist ng team. Kasi mataas talaga yung lagnat niya nung Sabado ng gabi,” said Alas’ dad, Louie.
“Nakapag-practice pa siya nung Sabado. Kaso after nun, hindi na siya nakagalaw,” added the Alaska Aces assistant coach.
Alas, meanwhile, warned Singapore will be no pushover, saying the team has four big men including 6-7 Delvin Goh, also known as Low, and did well in its tune-up games in Manila, beating D-League sides Cafe France and Hogs Breath Cafe before losing to Letran and NLEX.
“Maayos yung team na 'yun,” said the elder Alas.
But Sinag star forward Jake Pascual told Spin.ph that they were already able to size up Singapore in its 59-69 loss to Thailand which the Filipino players were able to watch on Sunday.
“Nakita namin galaw nila. Noong una, kinabahan kami. Pero nung nakita namin maglaro, kayang kaya,” said Pascual. “Saka yung big man nila si Low, kayang bantayan yun. Si Daddy Marcus (Douthit) na bahala dun pati sa ibang tall players nila.”
Pascual was also quick to identify the two deadly offensive players of Singapore, namely Michael Wong and Wei Long Wong who stood out for the Singapore Slingers in the ABL.
“Mahusay yung dalawa na yun. Yung Wei Wong yun ang leader ng team. Siya ang nagdadala, tapos yung Michael Wong, shooter,” said Pascual.