CLARK, PAMPANGA — NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao was just in awe with how Kevin Alas embodied leadership in the Road Warriors’ conquest of TNT Tropang GIGA in an emotionally-charged affair in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Thursday night.
There was enough reason for the 28-year-old to sit the rest of the game. His nose had bled profusely following a collision with Tropang Giga main man Jayson Castro during the waning moments of the second quarter.
But Alas checked back into the match late in the third canto, and even played like he was never hurt at all. He poured 11 of his 24 points in the final frame to help the Road Warriors stun the league leaders, 109-98.
“Ang daming dugo nun. He was bloodied at halftime. Our trainers did a good job just stopping the [bleeding]. And when I asked him kung kaya mo ba, sabi niya, ‘Kaya ko coach,’” Guiao shared.
“Eh medyo pagod na si Mike Ayonayon nung time na ‘yun kasi atake siya ng atake. Sabi ko, ‘Sige.’ Balik siya sa loob. And again he showed his abilities,” the decorated mentor furthered.
Alas said that he suffered a nasal hairline fracture following MRI results. The six-year pro won’t have to sit out, though, but will have to wear a protective mask in their next games.
Still, that isn’t any ordinary injury. And to have played on despite his condition just made Guiao immensely proud of his prized guard, who has been averaging 16.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists this conference.
For the fiery bench tactician, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran product proved his fellow Road Warriors right in choosing him as their team captain with his brave act.
“He was elected by the team, and he showed why they elected him as team captain. Pinakita lang naman niya yung leadership niya not by mere words but by action. Hanggang kaya niyang tumulong, tumulong siya,” he said.
“Kevin is a warrior. Kaya nga siguro Road Warrior kami eh, ‘no,” Guiao quipped.
“Kevin is a warrior. He showed his leadership, he showed what stuff he’s made of. And I’m proud of him.”