Ever since SMART Gilas Pilipinas returned to its rigorous training for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, NLEX Road Warriors star Kevin Alas has made himself a consistent fixture in every session.
From the November 3 commencement of practices, to the twice-a-day workouts, to their tune-ups, and even up to their recent trip to Tagaytay for a three-day camp, the former Letran Knight was present.
In fact, he even celebrated his birthday in Tagaytay last November 13.
With this dedication of his, the 26-year-old is a strong candidate for the 12-man team for the FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers opener versus Japan on November 24. And for Alas, he’s ready for whatever happens.
“Ready lang naman kami lagi [for the] opportunity to serve and to play for the Philippines. Malaking honor na yun para sa’min,” said Alas after SMART Gilas’ friendly versus the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Thursday, which they won 96-75.
“So whatever happens, magiging happy kami para makapaglaro sa Gilas.”
This is not Alas’ first dance with the men’s national basketball team. He has already acquired medals with Gilas abroad — a gold in the 2013 SEA Games and a bronze medal in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup.
However, the three-year pro cager admitted that he still has to get used to playing with this batch of Gilas, as the majority of this team are very different from the ones he went to action with two to three years ago.
“What I’m adjusting with is yung familiarity with the new guys na ngayon ko lang nakasama,” said the incoming third-year pro. “[But] So far so good naman. Nakapag-adjust na ako sa kanila… Na-work [naman na] yung chemistry sa Tagaytay.”
The Asian Qualifiers are now just a week away from tipping off. And it would only be fitting if Alas would be one of the Philippines’ delegates to Tokyo, and possibly, also one of the 12 cagers who will battle Chinese Taipei.
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