A HECTIC schedule and Letran’s questionable championship prospects in NCAA Season 89 are the main factors that could make Knights star Kevin Alas forego his final year of eligibility in college.
The 21-year-old guard said on Thursday that his stint with Smart Gilas Pilipinas and NLEX in the PBA D-League, apart from his duties for the Knights, will surely take its toll once the new NCAA men’s basketball season comes around.
“Hindi pa ako decided kasi parang wine-weigh ko pa options ko kasi mahirap pagsabay-sabayin yung tatlo (teams) eh,” he said after Gilas practice on Thursday at the Meralco Gym.
“Pag lumapit na yung NCAA season, may Gilas, may NLEX, may Letran so mahirap pagsabayin. Mag-three times per day ako (na practice).”
Alas said he can make a decision now, even revealing that as early as last October when the Knights lost to San Beda in the Season 88 Finals, he had already thought of quitting, but was convinced to first think things through by his father, former Knights coach Louie Alas.
Letran officials have yet to name Alas' replacement.
“Pwede na ako mag-decide ngayon. Pero sabi ng dad ko tingnan muna natin ang mangyayari. Parang wag padalos-dalos yung decision. After nga nung NCAA last year, sabi ko ayaw ko na maglaro next year. Pero sabi niya, 'Ano ka ba? Mag-isip ka muna'.”
The elder Alas' resignation is not a major factor in his decision, contrary to earlier reports.
The 6-foot Alas said a lot of people are also urging him to stay on, considering his chances of winning the league’s top individual plum are great in a season where Ian Sangalang and Calvin Abueva — the only two players who finished ahead of him in the race for the award last season — are no longer around.
“Sabi ng iba maglaro ka pa rin kasi baka MVP year mo na. Sabi ko hindi ko naman iniisip mag-MVP eh. Gusto ko pa rin mag-champion.”
“Iniisip ko yung opportunity kung magcha-champion ba kami. Tinitingnan ko rin yun (na factor). Syempre gusto ko bumalik kung solid yung team namin,” Alas said as the Knights will miss ever-reliable big man Jam Cortes, who has already played out his eligibility.
“Pero pinaka-factor talaga dito yung four years na rin ako naglalaro sa Letran. Parang iniisip ko napapagod na rin ako. Pero part naman ng pagiging player yun,” he added.