ANTIPOLO CITY – Perhaps it was a way for Kevin Alas to exorcise the ghost of the past.
The NLEX guard went off to a fast start and set the tone for the Road Warriors' wire-to-wire win over the Alaska Aces, 106-89, Wednesday that assured the team of a berth in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors Cup.
Alas poured 15 of his 19 points in the first quarter alone in a stretch that saw the Road Warriors roar to a 38-17 lead from which the Aces never recovered.
Kevin Alas conquers Ynares jinx
He had three rebounds and four assists and shot 7-of-14 from the playing court of the Ynares Center, which as everybody knows had been rather an "unfriendly" venue for Alas in the past.
This month incidentally, marked the third year Alas went down with his second ACL injury which he sustained in the same arena.
Although he had a notable showing against Alaska, Alas admitted there were moments in the game that somehow reminds him of the unfortunate incidents that happened to him in the past.
“To be honest, sometimes pumapasok sa isip ko yung fear,” he said afterwards.
Memories of that twin ACL injuries – the first happened in March of 2018 and the second in February of 2019 – would cross his mind especially when he gets to the spot where he previously went down.
In an effort to break the jinx, Alas even tried to have the portion of the court incensed upon his return from the injury in 2019 to no avail.
“Wala rin naman yatang epekto, ang sama rin ng nilaro ko nun,” he recalled.
"Pero I believe God allows everything to happen. So no amount of superstition can prevent something from happening."
But in his first game back here, Alas tried to shut down whatever bad memories he had.
“I just tried to keep my focus on the game, kasi pag inisip ko yun, baka mas lalo akong ma-pressure, mas sumama ang laro ko,” he said.
And for Alas to set aside the sorry incident meant getting off to a hot start.
“Pag start ng game, pinawisan ako. Parang relax na hindi ko na siya iniisip,” he said. “Ano motivated lang and sinunod yung game plan ni coach.”
At the same time he had to do it since NLEX knows Alaska has been playing inspired basketball the past few days.
“Si coach Yeng keeps reminding us that motivated yung Alaska, inspired silang maglaro and we saw it in their last game against Terrafirma,” he said. “We just keep on reminding each other na inspired silang maglaro, so we shouldn’t allow them to start strong, and then kapag nakalamang kami ng malaki, dapat huwag kaming maging complacent.”
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.