PBA Philippine Cup

Yeng Guiao lauds Kevin Alas for big plays after tongue-lashing

Delfin Dioquino
Yeng Guiao lauds Kevin Alas for big plays after tongue-lashing

MASKED MAN. Kevin Alas still delivers despite wearing a mask to protect his nasal fracture.

PBA Images

NLEX star Kevin Alas knocks down the big hits down the stretch against TNT as he redeems himself from a botched play that drew the ire of Yeng Guiao

MANILA, Philippines – Tirades from coach Yeng Guiao no longer faze Kevin Alas.

Guiao turned from critic to fan by lauding Alas for his mental fortitude after the crafty guard helped steer NLEX to a come-from-behind 90-89 win over TNT in the PBA Philippine Cup on Thursday, June 16.

Finishing with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists, Alas knocked down the big hits down the stretch as he redeemed himself from a botched play that drew the ire of Guiao.

Guiao admitted he gave Alas a verbal onslaught for his failed alley-oop pass to Calvin Oftana in the middle of the Road Warriors’ comeback surge with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Instead of dishing out a simple shovel pass, Alas lobbed the ball to Oftana during a two-on-one fast break only for it to get stolen by Roger Pogoy.

The turnover led to an easy Troy Rosario bucket that pushed the Tropang Giga lead to 80-73.

“I scolded him. Actually, he received a tongue-lashing from me,” said Guiao in a mix of Filipino. “But after that, his game only got better.”

True enough, Alas more than made up for his blunder as he scored 11 points of his total output in the final frame.

He scattered 6 points in a 14-2 run that leveled the score at 80-80 and dropped 5 unanswered points that gave NLEX an 88-87 lead with less than 40 seconds left.

“It is a tribute to his mental toughness. A player of a lesser caliber or lesser stuff would have been discouraged or lost confidence. But Kevin is on a different class,” Guiao said.

Alas said he used the verbal onslaught as motivation, knowing Guiao relies on him to make the right decisions as the longest-tenured player on the team.

Masked and all after sustaining a nasal fracture in practice, Alas delivered.

“Coach Yeng was so mad at me, and of course, [it was] understandable. He expects a lot from me. I think after that, I bounced back.” – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.