AS far as his dad is concerned, Kevin Alas skipping the 2013 PBA rookie draft was the best decision he ever made.
Louie Alas said that extra year in the amateur leagues and with the Gilas Pilipinas cadet team did wonders for his son, allowing his game and decision-making to mature before he made the jump to the PBA this season.
"Sobrang laki naitulong 'nun (stint with Gilas). Nag-pay off din 'yung di nya agad pagsali sa draft kasi nakasama niya 'yung mga beterano sa Gilas," the elder Alas told Spin.ph on Saturday.
After dropping plans to join the 2013 draft, the Talk 'N Text freshman spent the 2013 season honing his skills with NLEX, which he led to a championship in the PBA D-League on the way to winning an MVP award.
At the same time, he became part of the Gilas cadet squad that won the Southeast Asian Games basketball gold in 2013 in Myanmar and played a backup role in Gilas' bronze-medal finish in the 2014 Fiba Asia Cup.
He made the jump to the pros a year later to become the No. 2 selection overall - older and wiser, his dad said.
Louie Alas, the top assistant of Alaska coach Alex Compton, coached his son for a couple of seasons at Letran in the NCAA and admitted he continues to guide Kevin through his rookie season in the PBA.
The elder Alas said he regularly talks to his son to give him tips and remind him to play defense first, more so now that Talk 'N Text is in the PBA Commissoner's Cup Finals against Rain or Shine.
"Lagi ko sinasabi sa kanya (Kevin), kung ano ang defensive approach niya sa (semifinal series) Purefoods, gawin niya lang din sa Rain or Shine," said Alas.
"Basta naman dumepensa lang siya. Kailangan lang tough siya kasi minsan, paglagpas niya sa isang screen, may dadaanan pa uli siyang multiple screens," he added.
Alas has acquited himself well in the first two games of his first finals appearance as a pro, averaging 5.0 poins, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 21 minutes as backup to star combo guard Jayson Castro.
Louie said he also constantly reminds his son not to hesitate to take the open shots, especially with the red-hot Castro a marked man in the finals.
"Sinasabi ko kay Kevin, basta panira na, itira niya lang, as long as open," he said.