KEVIN Alas, one of the most promising players in the amateurs today, expects to learn a lot from the visiting Shanghai Sharks, especially veteran playmaker Liu Wei, when Gilas Pilipinas plays the Chinese professional squad in an exhibition match on Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alas is one of seven national cadet players suiting up for the national team of coach Chot Reyes in the 7 p.m. encounter.
Six players in the 13-man pool that saw action in Sunday’s All-Star Game in Digos City have been recalled by their respective PBA mother ball clubs as they prepare for the resumption of the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals on Wednesday.
“Yes, siyempre may halong kaba and pressure. But come to think of it, it’s a big opportunity for me dahil point guard siya (Liu) and I know I can learn a lot from him,” Alas told Spin.ph, in a chat about his coming stint with Gilas opposite the taller and more experienced Chinese team.
Alas, named the tournament MVP of the Super Kung Sheung Cup Invitationals last January in Hong Kong, will be joined by by fellow cadet players Greg Slaughter, RR Garcia, Garvo Lanete, Matt Ganuelas, Jake Pascual, and Ronald Pascual in the Gilas roster.
PBA stars Gary David and Japeth Aguilar of Globalport, Petron’s June Mar Fajardo, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan, along with naturalized player Marcus Douthit, complete the Gilas cast.
The 6-foot-2 Liu had been a vital cog of the Chinese national men’s team for years, having been part of the 2002, 2006, and 2010 squads that competed in the Fiba-World Championships.
Aside from Liu, 7-foot-3 Zhang Zhaoxu will also be playing for the Sharks, owned by former Houston Rockets star center Yao Ming.