Alas satisfied with Phoenix’s ‘aggressive’ rookie picks

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

For new Phoenix coach Louie Alas, his first day on the job couldn’t get any better.

The seasoned mentor was satisfied with the Fuel Masters’ haul in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft on Sunday.

“Everyone who we projected and expected to fall on us, we got all of them,” he said.

Alas tapped Jason Perkins as Phoenix’s fourth overall pick before claiming Sidney Onwubere eighth in the first round.

The Fuel Masters continued to stockpile on the upstarts, taking big man Jayson Grimaldo, shooter Wilson Baltazar, and guards Dan Sara and JK Casiño in the succeeding rounds.

Alas put a premium on hardwork when making their picks and that was the common denominator among Phoenix’s prospects.

“That’s the kind of players we want. What we need here is to play aggressive for the whole 48 minutes,” he said, likening his approach to how he handled his last head coaching job in Letran. “You can’t go wrong when you’re aggressive, but what we need is controlled aggression.”

Alas said Phoenix already has the tools to compete in the league with the trio of Matthew Wright, Jeff Chan, and JC Intal in tow, but he’s hoping to get significant contributions for their rookies.

“I believe we are three good pieces away from contending. Hopefully, the ones we picked will fill up the roles we expect from them,” he said.

Looking back to the dismal at the franchise’s dismal had last season, Alas is putting those performances behind with  Phoenix hell-bent on making an impact this year.

“We mean business,” he vowed. “Everything that happened last year will not happen again.”


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