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Chot call shocks Alas

Kevin Alas is raring to prove his worth following his inclusion in the Gilas Pilipinas’ pool for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers later this month.

Surprised by a call from Gilas coach Chot Reyes Monday lunchtime, the NLEX playmaker did not hesitate to join the team’s first practice two nights ago.

At first, he thought that he would be there just to provide extra manpower for the incomplete roster until he was formally included in the final 24-man pool announced by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas late Tuesday.

“They needed help so I just went there as the 10th player. I honestly didn’t think that I was part of the pool,” Alas told Daily Tribune in a phone conversation.

“I was just notified on Monday lunchtime. Coach Chot asked me if I can help out and of course it’s always a privilege to help.”

Alas admitted that thought that he will just serve as a warm body for practices.

After all, Gilas already have a slew of backcourt talents Japan-based cagers like Dwight Ramos, Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena and other fellow Philippine Basketball Association stars in Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, Robert Bolick and Jio Jalalon.

But his impressive numbers with NLEX made him a serious consideration in the pool.

Alas averaged 16.1 points and 4.3 rebounds during the Philippine Cup eliminations but he even exploded to 23.5 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs.

He was initially included in the Gilas lineup that saw action in the Southeast Asian Games in May but he begged off to take care of his ailing wife.

Now that everything is going well, Alas is ready to give Gilas another shot and return to the international stage for the first time since the FIBA Cup in 2014.

“We really want to help. Ever since I finished college, when they needed me as a cadet or a practice player, I’m always more than willing to help,” Alas said.

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