IT may be a mere exhibition match, but Gilas Pilipinas guard Kevin Alas said the experience of playing the visiting Shanghai Sharks is a big boost to his confidence as he looks forward to getting used to international basketball.
“Malaking experience` yung na-gain ko na makalaban yung team ni Yao Ming,” Alas told Spin.ph at ringside of the Smart-Araneta Coliseum while watching Game Three of the Alaska-San Mig Coffee PBA Commissioner’s semifinals series on Wednesday.
“Siyempre, iba rin `yung maglaro kay for your country. Mataas `yung expectation at `yung pressure. Parang may nerbiyos din pero nung pinawisan ako naging okay na din ako,” he added.
Alas, son of Alaska assistant coach Louie, said he was actually looking forward to playing against veteran Chinese player Liu Wei, but found out at the last minute that he won’t be suiting up due to a bum stomach.
“Sayang nga, pero puro shooters sila lahat eh," said the high-scoring guard out of Letran, who was named the tournament MVP in last January’s Super Keung Sheung Cup in Hong Kong.
It’s a good experience for the team din. And even though di pa yan ang Fiba-Asia team nila, importante eh huwag lang kami ma-satisfy, mag-exert pa ng effort sa practice pagdating sa Fiba-Asia.”
The 6-foot Alas failed to score against the Sharks, but pulled off a couple of steals against Sharks’ point guard Meng Lingyuan that helped Gilas’ second-quarter breakaway en route to the win.
Alas is part of the national cadet pool which is expected to play a key role in the Philippine team’s quest to stretch its basketball dominance in the Southeast Asian Games this December in Myanmar.
“Sabi naman ni coach na kami pine-prepare na for the SEA Games. So personally, kailangan ko pang ma-improve `yung decision-making ko sa loob ng court. Ako kasi mag-se-set up sa teammates ko kasi sa internaitonal point guard ang laro ko,” he added.