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Basketball

Louie Alas registers first win as head coach since 2001

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Louie Alas registers first win as head coach since 2001 Basketball News PBA  Phoenix Fuel Masters PBA Season 43 Louie Alas 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup

October 19, 2001

That date was the last time Louie Alas tasted a victory as a main bench strategist of a PBA team, when his Mobiline Phone Pals (now known as the TNT Katropa) dealt Tanduay an 86-76 defeat at the Cuneta Astrodome.

“Tagal na nun,” said Alas, now 54 years old.

“Ang alam ko lang mas bata ako noon,” he quipped.

Since then, Alas never had the chance to post a win as a head coach in the PBA, as he shifted his focus in serving the Alaska Aces as an assistant coach and as the head mentor to the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights in the NCAA.

Fast forward to December 27, 2017.

Now manning the sidelines for the Phoenix Fuel Masters, Alas registered his first win as head coach in 16 years, as the Fuel Masters took care of business and handled the Kia Picanto easily, 125-102, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Making the win even sweeter is the fact that it had ended Phoenix’s 10-game losing skid, which traces way back in the 2017 Governor’s Cup, a slump that came as a surprise to many after the Fuel Masters started that tilt 2-0.

“Actually, last 10 days, yung excitement, ‘di nawawala kasi we’re on a 10-game losing [skid kami]. Sabi sa akin, coach, sana manalo na tayo next game,” shared the seasoned tactician moments after the out-of-town bout.

“Sabi ko ‘di kami pwedeng pumunta sa game na expecting na mananalo.”

Alas has a lot of reasons to be festive about Wednesday night, not just because of the holidays. But he had already played down any euphoria, as he gears up his troops for their clash with the NLEX Road Warriors on January 7, 2018.

“Ang iniisip na (namin) agad against NLEX,” he said. “Alam natin deep lineup nila. Talagang kung anong sistema namin offensively, almost the same nlex na run and gun. We just have to play non-stop defense against NLEX.”

What makes Alas wary of the leagu-leading Road Warriors is not just the presence of his son, Kevin, in coach Yeng Guiao’s rotation, but the likes of super rookie Kiefer Ravena and veteran gunner Larry Fonacier as well.

“Yun ang dalawang malaking problema kasi before, with NLEX, sa Alaska with coach Alex (Compton), ‘pag si Kevin tinrap mo, wala ng masyadong hinahanap. Ngayon, ang dami especially with Kief and Larry,” explained Alas.

“Ang daming defensive scheme na pwedeng ilagay… Matatalinong bata,” he added.

“Hirap talaga. Pinaparating ko na talaga para pag-isipan nila yung trap, half-court at full court, ngayon hanggang parking ita-trap ko na.”

And in order to address what is needed to be done, Alas will have the “no days off” mantra even in the holidays to better prepare his Fuel Masters.

“One thing’s for sure, ‘di ako mag-two day break para di kami mawala sa condition.”

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