PHOENIX Pulse coach Louie Alas is not worried about the team’s two straight lopsided tune-up game losses in preparation for the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Fuel Masters lost once again to Meralco on Friday, 114-91, for their second consecutive defeat. Phoenix Pulse has now lost by an average of 30 points following its 114-77 defeat against NLEX.
But Alas is not pushing the panic button this early with still three weeks to go before the season-ending conference kicks off, citing injuries to Matthew Wright, Jason Perkins, and Alex Mallari, who didn’t play in the two tune-up matches, as the reasons for the early struggles.
“Actually, at the back of my mind, ini-expect ko with the line-up that I have, wala si Matt, wala si Jason, wala si Alex. Pero being a coach, pinipiga ko pa rin sila,” said Alas.
Wright is suffering a heel injury he sustained while training with Gilas Pilipinas, the reason why he was not included in the final 12 for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Perkins, meanwhile, is nursing a shoulder injury, while Mallari is bothered by a sprained ankle.
“As I’ve said, kapag nakumpleto kami, something good will happen,” Alas said.
Alas said the injured players will definitely be fit in time for the Governors’ Cup opening next month.
One of the few bright spots in the tune-up game was the performance of Phoenix Pulse import Eugune Phelps, who had 32 points in the match against Meralco.
Alas is patient with the shorthanded team.
“Kaya nga, sige lang tune-up lang ng tune-up,” said Alas. “Sabi ko nga sa kanya (Phelps), you just have to hang on. Sabi niya, ‘Coach, I know.’ Siyempre nakakainis talo. But we will stick together,” said Alas.