MANILA, Philippines – Kevin Alas milked his breakthrough PBA All-Star appearance to the very last drop.
The swashbuckling guard, after all, never imagined being on the same stage with the biggest PBA stars after a pair of career-derailing knee injuries.
Alas lit up the All-Star Game in Passi City, Iloilo, with 35 points on a sizzling 64% clip, albeit in a loss as he and Team Scottie fell short against Team Japeth, 140-136, on Sunday, March 12.
“Coming off two ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries, I never expected that I’ll be able to play at this level,” said Alas in a mix of Filipino and English.
“Just playing with the superstars, I’m grateful to God because I shared the court with the likes of James Yap, Jayson Castro, Arwind Santos, who are legends. I’m just really blessed to be a part of this.”
Alas first tore his ACL in March 2018, an injury that forced him to sit out two whole conferences.
Just a few games after his PBA comeback, the NLEX guard reinjured his knee in February 2019 and sat out another nine months to recover.
But Alas has since rediscovered his deadly form, averaging 19.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in the ongoing Governors’ Cup, and proved why he deserved his first-ever All-Star selection in his nine-year PBA career.
Alas scored 23 points in the second half – including 17 in the third quarter – to give Team Scottie a fighting chance, but Team Japeth held on with a pair of key defensive stops in the endgame.
He would have easily been the All-Star Game MVP if Team Scottie came out on top, but Alas said that is the least of his priorities.
“We wanted to make this game competitive. We wanted to give back to the fans who bought tickets, who voted for us, who trusted us,” Alas said.
Alas also relished his mini reunion with former Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao, who called the shots for Team Scottie.
“We’ve really built a solid relationship through the years. Coach Yeng said that we’ll never know when we’re going to be together again. We just cherish and enjoy the moment that we’re all together,” said Alas. – Rappler.com
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