AS much as he knows how to dish out a blow, Louie Alas also knows how to take it.
The Letran coach was man enough to admit his mistake after the 'slit-throat' gesture he made in the heat of the moment during the Knights’ Game Two win over the San Beda Red Lions in the ongoing NCAA men’s basketball finals.
The controversial act had league commissioner Joe Lipa threatening to slap Alas, his former player, with a one-game suspension unless he issues a public apology.
Alas did not take long to comply with the order, issuing an apology through the media, on Monday and later in a letter he wrote to the NCAA management committee.
His own personal conviction and the advice given by his family and the Letran Fathers helped him arrive at what he said was the right decision.
“It was a collective effort. Hindi naman mababawasan ang pagkalalaki natin sa paghingi ng apology,” said Alas on Tuesday night shortly after the entire Letran team was treated to a special dinner by the Father’s community inside the campus.
An old mantra he learned while still playing for the Army Jungle Fighters in the old Philippine Amateur Basketball League also served as a big guide for him to clear his mind and make the decision.
“Submit to authority. Yun ang naging guide ko, na itinuro naman sa amin nung naglalaro pa ako sa Army,” recalled the former Adamson stalwart.
Like any other coach, the 49-year-old Alas said he was carried away by his emotions during the match. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect league authorities, or more so,referees supervisor Romy Guevarra.
“Mali naman talaga `yung gesture (ko). It was just a spur of the moment (thing). I didn’t mean to disrespect them,” he said.
With the incident now a thing of the past, Alas can now fully concentrate on the title series itself. The deciding Game Three is set Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum with both the Knights and Red Lions seeking their 17th league title – the most by any schools in the 88-year history of the NCAA.
“I’m good. Trabaho lang tayo,” he said.