NCAA: Ace in the hole Kevin Alas forces winner-take-all versus San Sebastian
Kevin Alas was determined to tow his Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights closer to the Finals.
Alas engineered a massacre of the second-seeded San Sebastian College Recoletos Stags, exploding for 43 points on route to a 92-74 demolition job, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, forcing last season's runners-up to use their twice-to-beat advantage in the 2 versus 3 Final Four series of the NCAA's 88th season.
It was a new career-high for Alas, who achieved it while shooting 15-of-22 from the field, 10-of-13 from beyond the arc. He also got to the foul line five times, and made three charities.
In addition, Alas added two rebounds, two assists, a steal, and two blocks, versus four turnovers.
Last season, the two teams were in a similar situation, with the second-seeded Stags needing a second game to advance to the Finals. This year though, the Stags have failed to beat the Knights in all three of their encounters so far.
“Before the game sabi ko dapat ang intensity namin 100 percent talaga,” said Alas. “Yung tatlo panalo na yun kailangan namin itapon, kasi kung hindi kami manalo sa game two bale wala din yun.”
Letran exploded for 27 points and held San Sebastian to just seven in their first period. It got as high as 24 in the latter part of the third, following a pair of free throws from diminutive point guard Mark Cruz.
Cruz actually added 20 points and seven rebounds, while another Kevin, Kevin Racal, padded the stats sheet with 10 markers, 14 boards, seven dimes, two steals and a block.
“It's all about consistency on Monday,” Letran head coach Louie Alas said. “I’m very happy, but I can be happier kung mangyayari ulit yun sa Monday.”
The coach said limiting this year's second overall pick in the PBA draft Calvin Abueva was their top priority, but "The Beast" still managed 21 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two rejections in the lost cause.
“Wala makaka-stop kay Calvin [Abueva], [pero] definitely bawasan mo lang. Medyo maganda mangyayari," he said. Ironically, Alas is an assistant coach on the team that drafted Abueva, the Alaska Aces.
Stags center Ian Sangalang added 13 points on 13 field goal attempts, plus five rebounds. Michael Juico chipped in 10 for San Sebastian, who were without Ronald Pascual, who was serving a suspension for an ejection in their last regular season game versus San Beda.
“Marked man naman yun si Ronald kahit ano mangyayari,” coach Alas added.
The two teams will battle for the right to advance to the Finals on Monday. - AMD, GMA News
CSJL 92 — K. Alas 43, Cruz 20, Racal 10, Lituanio 8, Belorio 4, Gabawan 4, Cortes 3, Almazan 0, J. Alas 0, Luib 0, Pantin 0
SSC-R 74 — Abueva 21, Sangalang 13, Juico 10, Dela Cruz 8, Rebollos 6, Miranda 6, Maiquez 5, Gusi 3, Vitug 2, Antipuesto 0, Binuya 0, Dones 0
Quarter scoring: 27-7, 46-28, 69-48, 92-74
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