The NLEX Road Warriors received a huge blow Monday on the unfortunate development that star point guard Kevin Alas suffered a torn ACL on the same knee he injured less than a year ago.
Alas got hurt after a rebound play against the Meralco Bolts last Saturday, his fifth game back after missing two-thirds of last season. He is now set to have another operation on the same knee and will be out indefinitely once again.
There is a cloud of sadness and heaviness for the NLEX organization, especially knowing that Alas rigorously worked his way back into competitive play in the last several months.
"We were saddened when we got the news of his diagnosis." barred NLEX coach Yeng Guiao on Monday night. "The whole team, not just myself or the players, even the management, and even our families were saddened."
"We know how hard Kevin worked to get back to recover from the previous injury. Nobody expected that this will happen again. Same venue, same side of the court, same knee. Nobody expected it to come out this way. The whole team is all devastated with what happened," he added.
The veteran coach could not even recall a similar situation wherein a player suffered the same type of injury in such a short span of time.
"I haven't seen this before, at least with all the players I coached before. I'm not sure if there were on other teams," Guiao shared. "I can't even recall a player on another team that after a few games, after being operated on, and knowing the work he put on to rehab his knee, that this will happen again so soon."
Though the Road Warriors organization are at a loss, they remain undeterred in their support for their young guard.
"We must support Kevin in any way we can. We will be patient, we will wait for him until he comes back. We will keep supporting him and we just have to be strong and be able to cope up with tragedies like this," Guioa said, also mentioning that Kevin is family to the team. "He's a strong boy, he has a strong personality and we know he can come out of this. We will just keep supporting him."
With a guard short, NLEX plans to insert rookie Kyles Lao into the lineup.
"Our immediate remedy in our roster is to activate Kyles Lao. After Friday, there will be a Gilas break. We have enough time to determine what else we can do," the seasoned mentor said.
Aside from prayers and words of encouragement, Guiao also shared that the team will dictate its game against the Phoenix Fuel Masters for their injured comrade.
"We will also dedicate our Friday game to him, for the contributions he's made, for his effort and leadership of our team. For the meantime that's the best we can do," he said.