ANTIPOLO – Kevin Alas said that he’s all fine after his fractured nose got hit during NLEX’s PBA Philippine Cup match versus Meralco, Saturday night.
Still wearing a plastic mask, the veteran guard was decked at the 6:35-mark of the final period following a contact with Cliff Hodge, who tried to block his lay-up. It took him a while to get up before he was checked by the medics on standby.
He was able to finish the match, still, helping the Road Warriors zoom to the 90-75 victory to get back on track after bowing to Ginebra last Wednesday.
“Okay naman, natamaan lang konti,” the 30-year-old combo guard said moments after the match at the Ynares Center here. “May putok lang, pero sa labi naman. Tinamaan ‘yung ilong, parang yung motion pa-ganun kasi.
“Okay naman. Akala ko sa ilong kasi nanggaling yung dugo, sa bibig pala. Chineck nung doktor kanina, sa bibig pala galing.”
Head coach Yeng Guiao didn’t like what he saw from Hodge, who was called for a flagrant foul penalty one for that. The champion bench tactician even felt that it was a ‘cheap shot’ on the part of the 10-year veteran.
“Naka-mask na nga si Kevin, alam natin may fracture siya sa ilong, pero parang sinadya ni Cliff Hodge eh,” he opined.
“So cheap shot ‘yun.”
Alas, however, is giving Hodge the benefit of the doubt. And he was, in fact, the one who apologized to the bruising big man for expressing what he felt after the incident, before he made his way to the Bolts’ bench.
“Sabi ko lang parang, ‘I felt that’s not a basketball play,’” said Alas. “E ‘di siya nagsasalita, but I guess ako, siguro I’m at fault din there kasi na-realize ko after, siyempre basketball, physical game ‘yan e.
“Nakita niyo naman kanina, banggaan, ang daming mga altercations kanina. Pero ‘yun na nga, sabi ko physical ‘yung basketball, so siguro wala naman akong right mag-react that way.
“Binigay ko lang ‘yung benefit of the doubt na baka naman ‘di talaga sinasadya ni Cliff. So ‘yun naman, nilapitan ko na lang siya after the game, nag-sorry ako, niyakap ko na lang,” added the eight-year pro.
Hodge apologized, too. “Tumapik, I guess that’s an apology. So, yeah,” he said while tapping his chest, reenacting what Hodge did postgame.
“Ano naman, basketball, it’s okay, it’s part of the game, sabi ko. Niyakap ko naman siya kasi sa labas ng court, magkakaibigan naman kami. Next time, dapat disiplina na ‘di dapat ako magreact ng ganun kasi basketball, bangaan.”
Hodge himself said that he did say sorry to Alas. “Yeah, I apologized. Kevin knows. I’m not like that. Just happened,” he shared.
Alas has been wearing a mask for games now due to a nasal fracture he suffered in practice. And he’ll be wearing it for the rest of the tilt.
“After ma-fracture, dalawa o tatlong beses natamaan e … pero siguro for the whole conference, gagamitin ko na muna for protection.”
The second game of each gameday is also live-streamed on SMART Sports.