Kevin Alas keeps fingers crossed as knee injury forces him out of action in Game 5
Kevin Alas comforted by NLEX teammate Larry Fonacier after suffering the injury. Jerome Ascano

ANTIPOLO CITY – Kevin Alas didn’t return to action for NLEX in Game Five of its PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series against Magnolia after injuring his right knee early in the first quarter at the Ynares Center.

Alas hurt his knee while driving past Paul Lee with just 40 seconds gone in the first period.

He later said his right knee appeared to have ‘locked,' but is keeping his fingers crossed that there would be no serious damage to it.

“Parang kagat lang ng langgam,” he told SPIN.ph inside the Road Warriors dugout as he laid on the bench with the injured knee packed in ice.

“Medyo may swelling na siya. Hopefully, nothing serious yung injury.”

Alas will have the knee checked by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas on Monday.

The injury came as a blow to NLEX’s campaign as Alas shares backcourt duties with rookie Kiefer Ravena. In his absence, coach Yeng Guiao was forced to play back-up guard Juami Tiongson for extended minutes.

The Road Warriors lost the game, 87-78, and are now on the verge of getting eliminated as they trail the best-of-seven series, 3-2. Game Six is scheduled Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Guiao didn't use Alas' injury as an excuse, but admitted getting off-balance with the sudden departure of his starting point guard just right before the game started.

"Medyo. Siyempre yung rotation mo mag-i-iba," he said. "Pero kung alam namin na wala siya mas mapagha-handaan mo. Today biglaan yung nanagyari kaya nakakawala pa ng diskarte.

"But I hope it's not serious."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos