MANILA, Philippines—It had been a brutal 10-month stretch for Kevin Alas, going through the rigors of recovering from a knee injury that had left him sidelined for majority of last season.
Alas tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the previous season’s Philippine Cup but now that he’s recovering, he’s raring to get back on the court and prove that he’s still a force to be reckoned with.
“I was out for eight to 10 months so I’m super excited because I’ve been watching NLEX and the other teams, and also Gilas for so long,” said Alas in Filipino during the PBA Media Day Thursday at Solaire Resort and Casino.
Alas spent much of the previous season recovering under the guidance of sports orthopedic Dr. Raul Canlas and was given the medical clearance in November.
“It’s super frustrating because I’m always thinking of the ‘what ifs’ like what can I do to help the team but when I started my therapy I put my mindset on it,” said Alas. “I attacked my rehab, never missed a day, and I even did some extra work.”
“I wanted to prove that I have to be better than I was before.”
Alas, however, will come back to a team that’s missing a familiar face but also acquired a new player.
Kiefer Ravena, Alas’ backcourt partner, is still serving his Fiba-imposed suspension but the Road Warriors traded for national team center Poy Erram to become the team’s new post presence.
“Of course all of us are looking forward to have Kiefer back but this is now a chance for me and the other guards to prove that we can be effective without him,” said Alas. “But it would still be better if we have Kiefer.”
Ravena averaged 16.1 points. 3.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in 24 games and was seen as the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award until Fiba suspended him for 18 months in violation of its doping regulations.
Still, the Road Warriors have a new center in Erram and Alas has seen great things from his new teammate.
“He had a smooth transition to the team because he already played with coach Yeng [Guiao] for Gilas,” said Alas.
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