BEFORE NLEX can dream of making a return trip to the semifinals, Kevin Alas' immediate goal is to just stay healthy for the whole season.
After suffering major knee injuriesthe past two years, the 28-year-old guard's only desire is to be able to stay on the court the entirety of the year.
"Short-term ko is makatapos ng isang buong season," said Alas, who came back from his second ACL injury last November and played four games with NLEX in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup.
The Road Warriors' early exit at the hands of eighth-seed NorthPort gave the former Letran guard a chance to further strengthen his body in anticipation for the upcoming season.
This time, he followed his recovery program to the letter.
"Nag-focus ako sa rehab and at the same time, yung recovery binigyan ko ng pansin. Kasi last time, parang na-compromise yung ibang bagay. So siguro, sa mga small details yung mas binigyan ko ng importansya," he said.
The two knee injuries also prompted Alas to expand his game in his desire to be a better shooter than just a fearless slasher.
"Siguro kailangan ko na rin mag-evolve ng laro. Yung game ko naman, wala naman akong binago pero nagdadagdag lang ako ng other weapons like jump shot kasi laro ko dati puro salaksak lang nang salaksak. So dapat naga-adapt na rin ang laro ko."
But it's not just the physical variables that Alas knows he has to rebuild himself for, but also in the mental aspect as he's still in the process of regaining his confidence.
"Siguro yung confidence ko is getting there na, but I can’t say na 100-percent na ako," he said.
Alas is trusting the process as he hopes that everything falls into place once the season begins - one where NLEX is gunning to establish itself as a legitimate contender starting this 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
"Personally, I don't want to expect or put pressure on my team, but gusto ko maging consistent semifinalist kami and it starts with consistency," he said.