FOURTEEN years after, Kevin Alas duplicated his father's achievement in the Southeast Asian Games.
After a fumbling start to his first-ever SEA Games stint, the young Alas ended the campaign with flourish after finishing with 13 points against Malaysia as Sinag Pilipinas formally clinched the basketball gold on Sunday night with an 84-56 win.
The 21-year-old Alas skippered the unbeaten men’s team to the championship, more than a decade after his father, Louie Alas, coached the Philippine squad to a gold medal finish in the 1999 edition of the SEA Games in Brunei.
The former Letran star guard said winning the gold and hearing the national anthem play inside the Zayar Thiri Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw just as the Philippine flag was being raised, is one proud moment in his young basketball career.
Likewise, Kevin said his father is very proud of what he achieved as member of the national team.
“Of course, very proud ako na nakasama sa national team, and even si papa ganun din naman (proud) dahil naranasan na rin naman niyang maging part ng national team dati,” said Alas.
Kevin was seven years old when his father won the SEA Games cage gold behind a team bannered by the Manila Metrostars of the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA). Among his players were Romel Adducul and Egay Billones.
“Hindi ko na matandaan `yun,” he said. “Basta naalala ko na lang napapanood ko siyang mag-coach.”
Kevin failed to suit up in Sinag Pilipinas’ first two games against Singapore and Cambodia after contracting the flu days after arriving in Myanmar.
But he hasn’t missed a beat upon returning to active duty, and made sure he was on the floor when Sinag Pilipinas won the country’s 10th straight SEA Games basketball gold since 1991.
Overall, it was the 16th gold medal in basketball for the Filipinos since it started participating in the biennial meet in 1977.
Alas and the rest of Sinag Pilipinas will arrive in the country on Tuesday night.