MANILA, Philippines – The Phoenix Fuel Masters are expected to play a fast-paced, high-octane game when they return to action in the next season of the PBA.
After all, that is the trademark style of their new coach, Louie Alas, who was hired in the offseason to replace Ariel Vanguardia.
"Talagang high-energy defense and we will run at every opportunity sa offense," Alas said Monday after supervising Phoenix's first practice at The Upper Deck in Ortigas. "It's an exciting system."
For Phoenix rookie Jason Perkins, this should be no problem. The fourth overall pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft is already used to playing in an exhausting, fast-paced game, thanks to his former college coach, Aldin Ayo.
"Coming off Coach Ayo in my last year, we used to run the full court press all the time," said Perkins, who won two championships with the De La Salle University Green Archers.
"Running a full court press is not really a shock to me, because I did it the whole time last year," he added. "Coach Ayo has the most physically demanding (press), so coming to another press, I'm used to it."
"It's something that I think I'm prepared for," he said.
Indeed, a full court press seems to be the least of Perkins' worries. Instead, he is more concerned about improving his work ethic after seeing how hard the other Phoenix players practice.
"It was interesting. I was really curious about people's work ethic," he related. "I came in here around an hour and a half early, and I thought I came in early to practice."
"I thought I was pretty early, to get shots up. But (Jeff) Chan was already in a sweat by the time I came in here, and (Matthew) Wright was already getting shots up," he revealed. "So yeah, I got to get my work ethic up."
Alas himself has no doubts that Perkins will easily adjust to their system, and develop the work ethic necessary to play at a high level in the PBA.
"Si Jason, since last year pa, pro-ready na 'yan," he said.
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