FIBA World Cup

Kieffer Alas out of Gilas Boys’ FIBA U17 World Cup bid

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Kieffer Alas out of Gilas Boys’ FIBA U17 World Cup bid 

MAIN MAN. Kieffer Alas in action for the Gilas Pilipinas under-17 team.


Gilas Pilipinas Youth star Kieffer Alas suffers an injury in a tuneup game, just before the Philippines opens its campaign in the FIBA U17 World Cup

MANILA, Philippines – The Gilas Pilipinas under-17 team just lost its best player.

Kieffer Alas, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, suffered a knee injury during a tuneup game, just right before the Gilas Boys kick off their bid in the  FIBA U17 World Cup in Istanbul, Turkiye (Turkey) from June 29 to July 7. 

“On initial examination by our team doctor, he had a functionally stable knee and the official result of his MRI determined Kieffer has a sprained ACL,” said Gilas Boys head coach Josh Reyes of Alas, who sustained the injury in their tuneup game against Canada. 

“His knee is swollen and he’ll be out for three weeks. We will be monitoring his situation closely.”

The Gilas Boys open their campaign against Lithuania on Saturday, June 29, before battling other Group A teams Spain (June 30) and Puerto Rico (July 2).

In the tuneup, Gilas led by as many as seven points in the second period against Canada, but disaster struck midway through the quarter as Alas hurt his left knee as he drove to the basket. 

“We were playing really good basketball at that point. We used our new sets, played good defense, and rebounded well against a team with four players taller than 6-foot-8,” said Reyes.

“It really felt that the team started believing we could compete at this level,” Reyes added. 

“It’s a tough break for us, but the rest of the team is motivated to play together. We’re praying for good results on Kieffer’s MRI, but we have to move forward and quickly figure out how to play without him.”

Gilas qualified in the U17 World Cup after finishing fourth in the FIBA U16 Asian Championship last year in Doha, Qatar, where Alas averaged team-highs of 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds.

The La Salle Zobel standout was also named to the tournament’s All-Star Five. 

In Istanbul, Alas was not able to see action in the team’s first tuneup match against Egypt due to a stomach illness.

“Against Egypt, we struggled and we didn’t have Kieffer so it was important for us to find another tuneup game to give him a chance to play,” said Reyes.

“Kieffer was doing a great job in playmaking, rebounding, and playing defense and this is his value to the squad, more than his scoring.” –

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