Amid PBA All-star excitement, Louie Alas preoccupied with playoffs

first_imgComelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college ONE: Mei Yamaguchi scores impressive submission in Japan homecoming View comments CALASIAO, PANGASINAN—Phoenix Pulse coach Louie Alas studied the sheet of paper on which he had scribbled how he planned to divvy up the minutes for his North All-Stars.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ Specifically, the scrapfest for survival shaping up at the bottom of the playoff field.Any of four teams—Alaska, NLEX, Magnolia or NorthPort could wind up being Phoenix’s quarterfinal foe.“Of those teams, we beat three by just a single possession,” Alas said. “That’s why as much as I’m so happy and thrilled to be an All-Star coach, my mind keeps drifting to the playoffs.”Phoenix defeated NorthPort, 98-96, on a game it could have easily lost but for an offensive foul slapped on Sean Anthony of the Batang Pier that nullified a tie-breaking triple with the game knotted at 96.The Fuel Masters rallied to beat Magnolia, 89-87 on a clutch triple by Jason Perkins. And they held off the NLEX Road Warriors, 83-82, when Calvin Abueva swatted Bong Galanza’s potential game-turning shot.ADVERTISEMENT Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Duterte legacy:’ Gov’t boasts achievements so far LATEST STORIES “I’m just making sure everybody gets their playing time,” said Alas. The piece of paper represented a tangible reminder that Alas was here as a first-time all-star coach.Without it, his focus would have wandered to far more important business.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“It’s hard to focus and get really excited when the playoffs are just around the corner,” said Alas, whose Fuel Masters are the No. 1 seed in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.The All-Star weekend has given Alas the chance to relax here, but every time he starts relishing the opportunity of coaching some of the biggest names in the league, reality pulls him back. MOST READ P260,000 each in aid to displaced Marawi folk released by US Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption “That’s why I keep stressing how important possessions are,” Alas said.The only comfortable win among the teams battling it out for position and survival was against Alaska, 94-80.“But that’s Alaska and you know Alaska is too good a team to beat twice like that,” said Alas.So serious was Alas about the playoffs that he brought the Fuel Masters here so they could schedule practices amidst the festivities of the All-Star weekend.“But they are really just general preparations. Until we know our opponent, we cannot fully prepare for the playoffs,” said Alas.“It’s difficult right now for us and it really doesn’t matter who we will end up facing. Whichever team it is, the only edge we have is that we own the twice-to-beat advantage,” he added.The Fuel Masters finished the elimination round on top of the standings with nine wins in 11 outings and will only need to win once to advance to the semifinals. Their opponents, on the other hand, will need to beat them twice in a row to advance.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more