MANILA, Philippines – Former Letran star and rookie hopeful Kevin Alas believes his experience playing as a Gilas Pilipinas cadet is a great advantage for him as he prepares for the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft.
Alas, who was one of the last players to file his application for the draft, admits that his participation in the Gilas program was one of the factors that he considered.
"'Yung programa ng Gilas, tuloy-tuloy 'yan," said Alas, who was part of the Gilas team that won the bronze medal in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup last month. "Pag hindi ako nagpa-draft, tuloy-tuloy pa rin 'yung programa, part pa rin ako."
"Pag andito na ako sa PBA, hindi ko naman sinasabi na hindi ko naman sinasabi na hindi ako magiging part (ng Gilas), pero s'yempre… ngayon sa draft, hindi na ako kasama sa Gilas cadet," he added.
"Siyempre, iniisip ko ('yun), kasi pangarap ko rin makapag-serve sa national team."
At the end of the day, however, Alas opted to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a PBA player.
"Bata pa lang ako, ang pangarap ko na is to be in the PBA," he said. "Eto na 'yung opportunity na makapaglaro ako sa PBA, so gina-grab ko lang."
Now that he is on his way to the professional league, Alas is confident that the time he spent with the national team can only help him.
"For me, parang advantage para sa akin 'yun, kasi the experience itself sa FIBA, ibang klase 'yun," said Alas. "Sabi ko nga, dito sa papasok na rookie (class), ako lang ang kasama doon."
"I think advantage para sa akin 'yun," he added.
Alas, who participated in the PBA Draft Combine on Monday, admits that there are too many things running through his head ahead of Sunday's draft. But he is finding solace in his family's advice.
"Sabi ng mom and dad ko, wag akong mag-expect kung saan akong (team) mapupunta," said Alas, "Para at the end of the day, hindi ako ma-disappoint."
"Once ma-pick ako, I'll be happy, kasi dream come true na para sa akin 'yun," he added.