PHOENIX coach Louie Alas looked back at his team’s sorry losses that he feels led to the Fuel Masters’ early elimination in the PBA Philippine Cup, but is now looking ahead in the Commissioner’s Cup where they already have an import and are looking to start camp early.
The Fuel Masters saw their all-Filipino campaign come to an end on Sunday night after they bowed to TNT Katropa, 118-97, in their playoff for the eighth and last quarterfinal spot at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But Alas blamed his team’s back-to-back close losses to Meralco (two points) and Blackwater (five points) late in the eliminations that put them in a must-win situation against the Katropa.
“Di naman natapos yung conference namin sa game na ito. Natapos siya dun sa game namin against Meralco, against Blackwater,” Alas said after after the game.
“Na-feel ko din ito nung nabawasan kami, medyo mababaw din yung personnel ko, nabawasan pa ng dalawang kasama sa major rotation,” he added as the Fuel Masters missed LA Revilla and Justin Chua to injuries. “Di ko ginagawang alibi yan, pero yun lang talaga yung basa ko.”
Now, Alas is eager to move on from the Fuel Masters’ disappointing campaign, revealing they have already tapped the service of an import in former Kia reinforcement James White, who will arrive next week (March 13).
“Maikli lang ang bakasyon, baka wala pa sa kundisyon, kailangan ng training nun,” Alas said. “Papa-personal workout ko sa trainer namin, with me para makita ko yung development niya.”
“I think he’s a perfect fit kasi rim protector yun. Hindi explosive scorer pero magaling dumepensa,” he added.
The 6-foot-8 White gets to gain chemistry with his new teammates early as Alas has only given the Fuel Masters a two-week break.
“Wala kaming karapatang magbakasyon ng matagal kasi ‘di kami kasing lakas ng ibang teams,” Alas said. “Kailangang mas mahaba ang practice namin, mas mahirap ang practice namin.”