Years ago, Phoenix head coach Louie Alas learned the art of being his sons' No. 1 fan and biggest critic in the same breath. And he wouldn't want to be in such a position again.
Back when he was still coaching Letran in the NCAA, Alas had the chance to have sons Kevin and Junjun at his disposal. Juggling his role as father and coach was no cakewalk.
"Sobrang hirap," he said during Saturday's episode of the HOOP Coaches International. "At hindi ko ia-advice sa fellow coaches na i-handle niyo anak niyo as much as possible."
Even though they shared some success on the court for the Knights, the Alas patriarch had to become his son's fervent critic for the most part. The last thing he wanted was the rest of the team to feel that he had favoritism towards his children.
"Kapag may nakikita kang (mali) you have to check it and talk to the guy involved. Mas naha-highlight sakin palagi yung mali. Pag maganda ginagawa mo I will praise you, pag mali mas napapansin ko lalo pag dating sa kids ko," he said.
"Ang unang ayokong maramdaman nung teammates nila was to feel na may favoritism ako. So nagiging hard pa ako sa kids ko. Dumarating kami sa sitwasyon na kahit tama na, nahahanapan ko pa ng mali. Hindi nagiging healthy, minsan nagiging aloof sakin mga anak ko."
Kevin understood the situation, so he had to work twice as hard day in and day out.
"Siguro pagdating ko nung college may pressure kasi parang you have to play well. Kasi pag ginagamit ako baka sabihin ginagamit lang kasi anak ni coach Louie," the younger Alas said during an interview on 2OT last July 11.
"Minsan pag best player, sasabihin kaya nag best player kasi tatay yung coach. There's this always level of play na mine-maintain kasi to be honest, mahirap din kasi lagi may sinasabi yung tao."
Father and son had a few winning seasons at Letran. Now they find each other on opposing sides, with Kevin playing for NLEX in the PBA under seasoned coach Yeng Guiao and Louie handling Phoenix.
It's not likely for the two to team up anew in the foreseeable future, though. "So pag may nag arise na ganung sitwasyon mas gusto kong sa iba na lang (siya maglaro)," he said.
Compton's deputy at Alaska
For five years, Alas served as first assistant to former Alaska head coach Alex Compton.
Compton used to play for Alas's Manila Metrostars in the now-defunct MBA. Alas revealed that Compton recommended he become the next head coach of Alaska after Luigi Trillo stepped down. Alas respectfully declined.
"Nung kinukuha si coach Alex sa Alaska, ang nire-recommend niyang head coach ako. Because sabi nya, 'Ikaw head coach ko sa MBA.' Sabi ko 'Coach, you're ripe to be the head coach of this team so go for it,'" he said.
Alas was right about Compton. His former prized point guard led Alaska to multiple finals appearances and epic battles against eventual kings San Miguel Beermen.
"He was a very, very good coach. Actually hindi lang good. He was excellent," he said.
Before he jumped ship to Phoenix, Alas said he learned a lot from his former student during the course of his stay at Alaska. Now he's applying some of that as he tries to conjure up some magic for the Fuel Masters in the PBA.
"Actually I'm very surprised ang dami kong natutunan sa kanya. Imagine my former player, ako yung assistant niya, ang dami kong natutunan especially sa relationship with management, sa relationship with the players, with the staff. No. 1 talaga si coach Alex pagdating sa human relations," he said.