BOCAUE - Coach Yeng Guiao’s tough love may not work for every player in the PBA, but it’s certainly working wonders for Kevin Alas.
With the fiery coach on his case, Alas showed up at the most opportune time in NLEX’ 93-90 win over Blackwater on Sunday at the Philippine Arena, assuring his squad of a seat in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
The former Letran star notched a career-best 25 points, with 16 coming in the payoff period as the Road Warriors clawed back from 10 points down.
“I’ve been getting on Kevin’s outside shooting the past games and I did not expect that it will pay dividends this early,” said Guiao after Alas hit five of his 12 threes, four in a scintillating four-minute stretch to open the fourth period.
“Today, he showed us that he’s an outside threat. That’s just incredible shooting, the best I’ve seen him shoot from the outside this past one-and-a-half year,” he added.
Challenged by Guiao to shoot more, Alas worked on his touch. Aside from his early morning shootaround during practices, Alas was the earliest player in the stadium, already doing some pre-game shooting as early as 1:30 p.m.
“Ako na nga yung nagbukas ng gym e, nagda-dunk-dunk na nga ako dun sa mababang ring kanina e,” Alas said with a smile.
“Sabi niya (Guiao) sa post-game namin kanina, ‘Kung di ko na naman papagalitan at mamumura itong si Kevin, di na magkaka-shooting to,’ parang ganun eh. So yun lang kailangan lang talaga suklian yung trust na binibigay sa akin ni Coach Yeng,” he added.
With the defense collapsing on teammate Kiefer Ravena, Alas said that he took it upon himself to step-up. The 6’1 combo guard starred in an 18-2 rally that turned the game around.
“We’re down, Kiefer was playing well pero yung focus ng defense nasa kanya, so I felt someone had to step up. Di lang naman pwedeng si Kiefer lang,” said Alas who also had eight boards and five assists against just a single turnover to his name.
“I’m happy na sabay kami pumutok so I hope maging consistent kami.”