SEEING HIS player Kevin Alas sidelined anew by knee injury, NLEX Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao could not help but be saddened by it. But he said he remains optimistic that his ward would bounce back from this latest setback even as he threw his support to Mr. Alas, who is expected to undergo months of rehabilitation after surgery.
Playing just five games into his PBA return after a year-long sidelining because of an ACL injury on his right knee, Mr. Alas saw his season cut abruptly again after suffering an ACL tear on the same knee he got operated on.
The unfortunate incident happened on Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City against the Meralco Bolts off a rebound play where Mr. Alas secured the board and upon landing immediately clutched his right knee.
He was able to stand up on his own strength and walked it off. Mr. Alas was then taken to the hospital for an MRI where it was later confirmed that it was another ACL injury.
Mr. Alas is set to miss another considerable amount of time convalescing.
“It’s the same injury [for Kevin]. It recurred. We are all saddened. We are all devastated by what happened. We are all praying for Kevin. We are supporting him all the way. We will be patient with him. We’ll wait for him until he gets back. We know that he’s a strong boy – he has a strong personality and we know he can come out of this,” said Mr. Guiao as he spoke of what happened to his NLEX guard on the sidelines of Team Pilipinas’ practice on Monday.
“We will just keep supporting him. We can only offer our prayers and encouragement. Everybody is saddened by it, not only the players, coaching staff, management, even our families are devastated of what happened because Kevin is like family to us. But we will just have to be strong for him. We will also dedicate our Friday game to him for the contributions and the efforts he’s made — for his leadership of our team. For the meantime, that’s the best we could do,” added Mr. Guiao, who is girding for Team Pilipinas’ bid in the sixth window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian Qualifiers later this month.
Prior to reinjuring his right knee, Mr. Alas was averaging 8.4 points, 4.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds and a steal for the Road Warriors (2-3).
With Mr. Alas injured, NLEX is forced to play without its top backcourt duo as Kiefer Ravena continues to be out because of his suspension by FIBA. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo