‘Kailangan masuklian ko ‘yung tiwala kasi nagkakalat na ako noong dulo eh,’ says NLEX Road Warriors guard Kevin Alas after committing crucial turnovers in a 96-89 win over the Alaska Aces
Published 9:20 PM, February 11, 2018
Updated 9:20 PM, February 11, 2018
REDEMPTION. Kevin Alas aims to redeem himself for the NLEX Road Warriors. Photo by PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Though the NLEX Road Warriors escaped with a 96-89 triumph over the Alaska Aces on Sunday, February 11, guard Kevin Alas can’t help but see it as “an ugly win.”
NLEX almost squandered a 30-point 4th quarter lead, 87-57, with the Aces coming as close to two points, 89-91, behind a 32-4 salvo. In that Alaska surge, Alas failed to protect the rock, turning the ball over 4 times, including twice in the final 23 seconds when the game was still open for the taking.
Fortunately for Alas, the Aces could not complete the comeback and saw their 6-game winning streak come to a halt.
Alas still finished with a game-high 15 points, tying Larry Fonacier, plus 8 rebounds and 2 assists, but had 6 turnovers and a plus-minus of -7, the lowest among NLEX players together with Fonacier.
“I had 5 turnovers in the last 5 minutes, if I’m not mistaken. Coach Yeng (Guiao) talked to me and that’s the lesson for me,” Alas said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Guiao, although admitting that putting Alas in the most critical stretch of the game almost cost NLEX the victory, noted that the experience will only toughen his ward.
“You have to live and die with players [who] really will be the key players in our end game. That’s also a lesson for him, it’s a lesson for the team. I took the risk, maybe somehow I paid for that risk but I’m sure he learned a lot from that experience,” said Guiao.
Alas, who stayed on the floor until the final buzzer sounded despite committing crucial turnovers, plans to make up for his mistakes in the Road Warriors’ last two elimination round games.
“Kailangan masuklian ko ‘yung tiwala kasi nagkakalat na ako noong dulo eh (I need to repay his trust because I was messing up in the end). I have to bounce back,” said Alas.
NLEX, which holds a 5-4 card, is gunning for 4 wins in a row as it takes on the Blackwater Elite next Sunday, February 18, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. – Rappler.com