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Stats Don’t Lie: Heir to the Talk n Text throne

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Quick! What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Talk N’ Text?

If you thought “aging”, “over-the-mill”, “past-their-prime” or just plain “old”, I wouldn’t have blamed you. After all, we’re talking about a core of a team built around guys like Jimmy Alapag, Ranidel De Ocampo, Kelly Williams, Larry Fonacier, Harvey Carey, Ryan Reyes and Jason Castro, some of whom may not be that old number wise, but have registered a lot of miles on their wheels due to the sheer amount of playoff games and national team duties over the last few years.

The good news for the flagship team of the MVP group is that they just happened to “luck” into a do-it all guard that goes by the name of Kevin Louie Alas.

Back in August, there was no doubt that Globalport would select Stanley Pringle with the first pick in the 2014 PBA draft. The real mystery came with the second pick, which belonged to Rain or Shine. Amidst all the confusion with regards to incumbent star guard Paul Lee’s contract, ROS decided to select Kevin with their pick just to hedge their position.

As fate would have it, Lee eventually re-upped with the Elasto Painters and with a surplus of guards under their stable, ROS decided to ship Alas away for a future first round pick. After a series of transactions, Kevin found his way to the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters.

There probably couldn’t be a more perfect scenario for the spit fire guard out of Letran. Coach Jong Uichico has decided to revert the TNT offense back to the dribble drive sets that former coach Chot Reyes implemented back when he was calling the shots for TNT. This bodes well for Alas, as his game is built on penetration and attacking the basket.

In three games in the pros, Alas has put up some pretty solid numbers coming off the bench behind Castro. With Jimmy Alapag still resting, Alas has had ample opportunities to create with the ball and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s currently averaging 9.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg and 1.0 apg on 16 min per game – not too shabby for a rookie point guard.

Kevin Alas shot chart

While Kevin hasn’t particularly finished well on drives to the basket (just 1 for 4), he has shown a knack for drawing fouls, as he’s drawn 3 fouls while attacking the basket. He’s also been setting up his teammates on his forays to the basket, as he’s registered 7 potential assists on his drive possessions.

He’s also shown some craftiness with the pick and roll, as his shiftiness has helped him elude defenders and keep them off balance. In three games, he’s scored on 2 of 5 attempts when using a ball screen. If there’s something he needs to work on though, it’s finding teammates on pick & roll sets, as he’s only hit a teammate twice when coming off the ball screen.

Kevin has also shown a decent outside shot, as he’s hit 2/4 pull up jumpers, while canning 3/5 catch-and-shoot type of shots. The sample size is pretty small but if he can keep up this type of shooting, he will be a terror for opposing defenses in the coming years. Do you go under on ball screens and risk him lighting you up from 3? Or do you chase and go over, allowing Kevin to gain momentum and penetrate to the basket?

The best part of this scenario is that Kevin gets to learn from all the veteran guards on a loaded TNT squad. If he wants to brush up on his penetration and ball-handling, he can watch and learn first-hand from the “best guard in Asia, Jason Castro. Want to improve his shooting technique? No problem, Jimmy and Larry have his back. Want to be a lock down defender? Who better to learn from than Ryan Reyes?!

The future is bright for Kevin and in the best of scenarios, he could be a hybrid of all those guards. Now it’s up to him to put in the work and prove that he is a worthy candidate to be the heir to the TNT throne.

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1 Comment
  • Rio Ordillano

    Strong contender for the ROY award. Keep it up Kevin! ARRIBA!

ABL

AJ Mandani sparks Singapore in win over Joshua Munzon-led Westsports

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Back to his role as the sixth man of the Slingers after two games, AJ Mandani provided the firepower needed by Singapore in a fourth quarter surge to stop the Westsports Malaysia Dragons, 93-85, Sunday afternoon at the MABA Stadium in Malaysia.

The win arrested the Slingers’ two-game losing streak, raising their slate to 6-6. Westsports, a team coming off a two-game winning streak that included a 91-87 win over Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat last January 18, fell to 3-5.

Struggling in the first three quarters, Mandani six of his eight points in the final frame. And those points were povital in fending off Westsports.

With Singapore clinging to a solitary point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Filipino-Canadian scored four straight points 8-0 run to gain a 74-67 lead with under seven minutes left. Another basket by Mandani followed it up with a breakaway layup with with 5:18 remaining to give Singapore an 81-72 cushion.

Filipino exports Joshua Munzon and Patrick Cabahug tried to rally the home team back as a triple by the latter cut the lead down to just three with 1:40 on the clock. Big buckets by Delvin Goh and Chris Charles sealed off the Malaysia-based club team.

Munzon went just 5-for-18 from the field to finish with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Cabahug chipped in eight points on 3-for-4 shooting off the bench.

Xavier Alexander led Singapore with 33 points while Charles tallied a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three swats. Singaporean Goh had 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Marcus Marshall paced Westsports with 22 points, playing all 40 minutes as fellow World Import AJ West had a tough outing.

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AU

Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates

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The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17, dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting, with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits. Rookie Necole Ebuen powered in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16, while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Chiefs will look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Basketball

Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse, drops Red Lions to 0-2

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23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing with 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse — the second-best club team in Tunisia, who boasts four national team players and an American import — led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points, while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a one-day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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JRU

Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace for Final Four

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Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set — the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined from those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points, while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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