MANILA, Philippines – Letran’s prolific scorer Kevin Alas has decided to forgo his final year with the Knights in the National Collegiate Athletics Associtaion to pursue another dream – to be a part of the national team’s long-term program.
Alas, who has been undecided for months, told INQUIRER.net on Friday that he has signed a two-year deal with Smart Gilas Pilipinas.
He said he met with Letran rector Tamerlane Lana O.P., along with his dad and former Knights coach Louie Alas, on Thursday.
“Nagpaalam na ako [I said goodbye],” Alas said.
“Mag-focus na lang ako sa Gilas. Dream ko kasi to,to play here since bata pa lang ako [I will focus on Gilas. This has been my dream since I was youngm to play here]. It’s a very rare opportunity,” said Alas who is part of the Cadet pool of Smart Gilas and was also adjudged the MVP of the Super Kung Sheung Cup Invitationals in January.
Alas said that his father, who resigned as head coach after Letran’s loss to San Beda in the season 88 finals, advised him to think about his decision carefully.
“Honestly, he was telling me na wag padalos dalos, at kung nakapagdecided na daw ako [not to be hasty and once I have decided], do not keep them [Letran] hanging,” Alas said.
One angle that also factored in Alas’ decision was giving Letran a chance to chase after prized recruits.
“[Nag-] give way ay din ako sa mga recruits like [Rey] Nambatac, para makuha nila [I also gave way to the recruits like Nambatac so that they can be taken in],” said Alas, who, on the other hand, would still continue his studies with the college.
Alas, though, is leaving Letran — which came close to bringing back the title last season — with a heavy heart.
“Syempre malungkot na malungkot ako na hindi ko man lang nabigyan ng crown ang Letran [Of course, I feel very sad at not having given Letran a crown],” said Alas. “It was indeed one of toughest decisions to make.”