ANTIPOLO CITY – Is Ynares Center a curse to NLEX guard Kevin Alas?
In less than a year, Alas went down with another injury at the same Antipolo venue, hurting his knee in the homestretch of the Road Warriors’ 87-83 win over the Meralco Bolts in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday night.
Alas hurt the same right knee which was operated last season to repair the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear he suffered during the opening minute of Game 5 of the All-Filipino conference semifinals against Magnolia 11 months ago.
This time, the former Letran ace went out with 2:57 left in the final quarter of the tightly-fought game against the Bolts and the Road Warriors leading, 81-78. Alas was left out on the defensive end after Anjo Caram hit a corner jumper.
He never returned again and then went straight to Delos Santos hospital to undergo MRI on the hurting knee.
“Yes may pain pero pagbalik ko naman from rehab medyo may pain pa naman, so I think that’s normal, hopefully,” said Alas as he made his way out of the NLEX dugout. “Hindi ko pa masabi sa ngayon, pero sana wala naman.”
Alas finished with 12 points, including 10 in the third period. He had six rebounds and two assists as he helped NLEX win a second straight game to improve its record at 2-3.
Now he hopes everything will be fine for him personally.
Actually before the game, Alas went to the same spot where he suffered his ACL just to counter the fear which he had been abhorring since last year.
“Una kong pinuntahan yung spot na na-ACL ako, siguro para din mawala yung fear ko about it. Then wala naman. Pero siguro at the back of my head andun pa rin yung takot,” admitted the son of Phoenix coach Louie Alas.
Unlike his ACL injury when he was wheeled out of the court, this time Kevin can walk on his own and the knee isn’t swollen.
“No swelling naman, but just to be sure ipa-MRI na rin,” he said. “Nakakalakad naman pero may kaunting pain na nararamdaman which is normal lang naman.”
The ACL tear on his right knee kept Alas automatically out for the rest of the season last year.
He’s keeping his fingers crossed he wouldn’t be jinxed again in the same playing venue.