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Kieffer Alas ready to lead Gilas Boys in FIBA U-17 World Cup

Last year, Kieffer Alas surprised the continent with his standout performance in Qatar.

During the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship, the son of coach Louie Alas wowed with averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.

He not only carried Gilas Pilipinas Boys to the Under-17 World Cup in Turkey, but also earned All-Asia honors.

The World Cup, though, is a different animal, and the 17-year-old standout from De La Salle-Zobel knows it.

“I’m super excited. We have to face the best of the best, not just from Asia but from the entire world,” Alas told Tiebreaker Times.

“We’re going to take this opportunity and hopefully get some wins.”

This time around, Alas will be a marked man with groupmates Spain, Lithuania, and Puerto Rico all zoning in on him.

Moreover, this batch of Gilas Youth lacks size.

That is why Alas has been focusing on one thing – involving his teammates.

“Wala lang. I’m just not thinking about the pressure. What I’m doing now is getting my teammates involved more because our opponents are really good,” he said.

“We can’t win games individually, and it’s up to me to lead by example.”

2024-FIBA-U17-World-Cup-Gilas-vs-JRU-Kieffer-Alas Kieffer Alas ready to lead Gilas Boys in FIBA U-17 World Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

What Gilas Boys have going for them is that this is the same team that shocked the continent a year ago.

Fellow Archer Bonn Daja; UST’s Kurt Velasquez and Wacky Ludovice; and UPIS’s Jaime Gomez de Liaño are back.

Also returning for another tour of duty are Irus Chua, Elijah Williams, Paul Diao, Sam Alegre, CJ Amos, Edryn Morales, and Noah Banal.

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“I’m super proud of all of them because I can’t see them often since half of the team is from the US,” he said about the growth of each of his teammates.

“It’s good because we already have chemistry. Last year, we didn’t have much training but we were still able to make it.”

The World Cup is not only a stage for national teams to flaunt their programs; scouts from all over the world will be present.

Though it would be nice for Alas to be discovered by overseas schools and clubs, his focus remains is making the country proud.

“It’s a big opportunity, but my mind is not about impressing the scouts but making the country proud,” he said.

“We are together in this for every Filipino.”

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