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Louie Alas shoulders blame after Phoenix loss: ‘Next time I’ll be sharper’

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Louie Alas shoulders blame after Phoenix loss: 'Next time I'll be sharper' Basketball News PBA  Phoenix Fuel Masters PBA Season 43 Louie Alas 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup

Louie Alas may have found his groove at the right time on Sunday, but his head coaching debut with the Phoenix Fuel Masters did not go as planned, as his return to being the chief tactician was spoiled by the San Miguel Beermen. And it was not close.

In fact, Alas even blamed himself for their opening day loss, saying that he had not been able to make the necessary adjustments that allowed the Beermen to pull an 18-4 run late in the game that eventually led to the 96-104 loss.

“It’s my fault,” said the soft-spoken mentor moments after the match at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. “Sabi ko, basta next time, I’ll be sharper. Yung mga ganoong situation, magkamali ka… lalo na at you’re trailing? Patay ka. Patay nga kami.

“Part of that loss, sa akin ‘yung balik.”

But the game was not just a one-sided affair. The Fuel Masters actually gave the Beermen a legitimate threat, as they were able to shrink a gargantuan 17-point deficit to just five, 85-80, with 6:30 remaining in the final frame.

Phoenix achieved this with a full court press, something that Alas is very familiar with all thanks to his time with Alaska Aces. But more than the scheme per se, Alas was glad to see that kind of fight that the Fuel Masters displayed.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Louie Alas shoulders blame after Phoenix loss: 'Next time I'll be sharper' Basketball News PBA  Phoenix Fuel Masters PBA Season 43 Louie Alas 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup

“I saw some positive things. Kasi, easily, pwede na kaming mag-give up eh. Pero nung nag palit kami ng tao dahil pagod na, from seventeen, na-pull sa five,” said Alas, who last did a head coaching gig in the PBA back in 2001 with Mobiline.

“So I’ve said nga, if I did good things in rotation or handling the doubling scheme, baka iba ‘yung naging resulta. Baka na-stop namin.”

But despite the positives, Alas reminded that the Fuel Masters still have plenty to work on for them to be able to compete strongly in the 2018 Philippine Cup.

“Yung consistency lang pare. Kasi didikit kami, tapos pag nagpalit kami ng tao, magbabago yung laro,” he assessed. “So hindi lang nangyayari sa isa or sa limang tao. ‘Pag ginamit ko yung starter ko, ‘pag masama yung starter ko, maganda yung ilalaro ng second five. Pag maganda naman yung starter ko, yung second five, magkakaroon ng problema.

“We just have to find the right combinations. Kahit na magpalit kami ng tao, consistent ka. And that’s my job.”

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