LOUIE Alas walked out of the Smart Araneta Coliseum dugout on Wednesday night not as an assistant coach of Alaska, but as a father who's seen the emergence of his son in the pro-ranks.
And as he received congratulations left and right from peers and mediamen alike, Alas just can't help but beam with pride when talking about son Kevin's rise with NLEX in the PBA Governors Cup.
The younger Alas has finally broken out of his shell in the season-ending conference, putting up averages of 19 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the Road Warriors' 3-0 (win-loss) start.
The dad said the improved play is mere validation for the hard work put in by Kevin, who, he said, went back to the gym almost immediately after NLEX failed to make the playoffs in the Commissioner's Cup.
"Yung sacrifices ni Kevin, talagang grabe. Right after nung elimination last conference, three days lang nagpahinga na yan, work out agad," said the older Alas.
Aside from the hard work, even Louie Alas attributed his son's stellar play to an added inspiration in girlfriend Selina Dagdag, the lovely PBA courtside reporter.
As a father, he has absolutely no problems about it.
"Sabi nga nila, pumapagibig daw e. Samin naman ni Liza, yung wife ko, kung saan ang gusto niya doon kami," Alas continued. "Napakaresponsableng tao naman niyan e. Kahit anong gawin niya hindi niya pinababayaan career niya."
"It's about time na mag-deliver (si Kevin) because this is the last conference of his third year. Di ka na rookie or sophomore, he has to play as a veteran," Alas, who coached Kevin at Letran, added.
For the former Letran mentor, what changed in Kevin's game is his decisiveness on the floor, something that he felt was lacking in the previous conferences.
Usually reliant on their set plays, the 6-1 combo guard out of Letran is now more comfortable taking matters into his own hands and that has led to his run of good form this conference.
Alas believes his son's renewed focus stems from the leadership of NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao.
"Tingin ko naguumpisa sa leader nila 'yan. Sa coach nila. Alam mo naman kung gaano ka-tough si Yeng. Hindi pwedeng indecisive. Malakig bagay yung coaching din."
Louie has been at the wrong end of his son's rise when Kevin scored 20 points in NLEX's 112-104 win over Alaska at the start of the campaign.
But the older Alas vowed Alaska will have the last laugh.
"That's the sad part of it, kami pa ang unang tinalo. Ang masakit pa niyan, buong taon hindi kami nanalo sa kanya. Okay lang basta kung kami magkalaban sa dulo, kami parin mananalo," Alas said in jest.