LOUIE Alas admitted he has lost his cool a few times in practice as Phoenix prepares for crucial matches against NLEX and San Miguel Beer in the 2018 PBA Governors Cup.
The Fuel Masters currently sit in fifth place with a 5-2 card after a loss to Ginebra last Saturday in Cagayan de Oro and can't afford to lose any more games if they hope to finish make it to the top four at the end of the eliminations.
A place in the top four carries a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals - the reason Alas hates seeing Phoenix relax ahead of games against NLEX on Wednesday at the Astrodome and against SMB on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alas noted NLEX is in sixth place with a 4-3 record and is motivated to beat Phoenix for a top four spot.
“Kung gaano ka-importante sa kanila, mas importante sa amin,” Alas told SPIN.ph following Tuesday’s practice. “Isang talo namin dito, you’ll go deeper (sa standings). Very, very crucial ‘yung game namin tomorrow. Ipinaparamdam ko naman sa kanila para maglaro sila na may pressure.”
Alas admitted there were a few times that Phoenix relaxed in practice to his chagrin.
“Medyo napipikon ako minsan sa practice kasi parang nagre-relax. Sabi ko, we are not in a position na mag-relax. Nasa inyo ‘yan. Napakaganda ng sitwasyon natin na hindi tayo nananalangin na matalo. ‘Yung fate natin is in our hands,” said Alas.
Alas said Phoenix played well against Ginebra but rued turnovers proved costly in the end.
“Maganda linaro namin pero mas motivated lang talaga siguro sila (Ginebra). Sinabi ko naman ‘yun, expect a one-possession game. Marami kaming breakdown defensively," said the multi-titled coach.
"Sabi ko, ‘yung breakdown natin sa defense, if we minimize it, we have a good chance. Pero marami kaming turnovers. It cost us the game. ‘Yung turnovers namin, turnovers sa depensa na hindi nakalista sa stats,” said Alas.
Alas stressed the importance of defense against an NLEX side led by Aaron Fuller and Larry Fonacier.
“One of the most explosive teams,” said Alas in describing NLEX. “Hindi natin tatalunin sila sa shootout. Let’s play them kung saan tayo malakas. Kapag shootout, 80 percent, talo tayo diyan. Kapag defensive game, malaki chances natin.
"Kailangan maganda depensa natin. Si Larry for the past three games, mataas ang field goal percentage, so concern ‘yan.”