MAKE way for Kieffer Alas.
Phoenix Fuel Masters coach Louie Alas' heart swells with pride, as his youngest son makes his first international stint at the 8th Asia Pacific Basketball Youth Cup in Singapore from October 24 to 27.
The 12-year old Kieffer, who plays for La Salle Zobel, was chosen to be an import for Indonesia Muda.
"He will be playing for the Indonesian team and the syempre stage dad ako," said Coach Louie, who was obviously happy for his son's achievement. "But may laro kami [sa PBA] that's why I can't be there. Kung wala lang kaming game, I will be there."
Indonesia Muda will be in Pool E, along with Phoenix Basketball, Fairfield Methodist (both of Singapore), and Team USA. Seventy seven teams from 10 countries, namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, USA, and Singapore will compete in six age group tournaments: U-13, U-15 and U-18 Boys & Girls.
Three teams from the Philippines — Cabuyao City Titans Laguna, Triple Threat, and Pinoy Youth Manila — will also see action in the four-day tournament. Alas shared, "'Yun ang mabigat, 'yung USA team kasi may mga 6'1" na 13 years old. Actually, si Kieffer ang pinakabata. He's only 12 years old."
Coach Louie, who knows his sons like the back of his hand, admitted that among all his sons, Kieffer stands out.
Elder brothers Junjun and Kevin both played for the Letran men's basketball team under him, while the master tactician would always watch Kenneth whenever he suited up for the unversity's high school team.
“Si Kieffer kasi ang nakita kong pinaka-headstrong sa lahat ng anak ko eh," bared Alas. "Akala ko si Kevin na eh. This kid [Kieffer] is very, very competitive. Most of the time nga 'yan pagka-natatalo, hindi mo makakausap."
From the kid whom he used to carry on his shoulders, Kieffer grew up to be a good basketball player at the same time an excellent student. When he was just three years old, Kieffer can shoot a regular-sized basketball from the free-throw line at The Arena in San Juan, where the NCAA men's basketball was being held.
"Pero hindi ko ine-expect na ganitong year lang, 12 lang siya, mag-i-international na," said Coach Louie. "Sabi ko lang 'yung pag-aaral niya [is top priority]. 'Yung grades niya palaging 90s, itong recently naging 89. So sabi ng mom niya, 'If you want dad to allow you to continue playing basketball, you should do well in school.'"