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NLEX stars join rookie draft

Kevin Alas

Former college star Kevin Alas has decided to join the PBA Rookie Draft where he is expected to be among the top five picks.

Alas will be among those expected to be drafted in the early stages along with Fil-Ams Stanley Pringle and Chris Banchero.

The 22-year-old, who had been undecided on the eve of the draft deadline, will join no less than 95 other hopefuls hoping to realize their childhood dream,– playing in the country’s most popular basketball league.

Alas had a heart-to-heart meeting with his family, including his father Alaska assistant coach Louie Alas, after he decided to join the draft Tuesday night.

“As I’ve said, my papa thinks I’m ready to play in the PBA. My family supports my decision to join the draft,” said Alas, who has played for Letran College and was part of the Gilas Pilipinas team that won bronze in the recent FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.

Basketball agent Charlie Dy accompanied the 6-foot-1 Alas, when the asapirant submitted his application.

Also filing the papers was his elder brother Kristoffer, making them one of the first brother tandems to apply simultaneously in the pro league.

“I want to pursue my dream to play in the PBA. I’ve played for the national team, been part of a champion team in the PBA D-League. This is the next step for me and I think I’m ready to take the challenge,” said Alas.

“Besides, there is still a possibility for me to play for the Philippine Team even if I’m in the PBA,” added Alas, who plays the two guard positions during his stints with the NLEX Road Warriors.

Alas played for three of NLEX’s six D-League championships. NLEX has joined the PBA after it purchased the existing franchise of the Bert Lina-owned Air21 recently, reportedly for R100 million.

Globalport and Rain or Shine will pick 1-2 in the draft.

The Batang Pier plans to select the 6-foot-1 Pringle, a crafty guard who has played professional in Belgium and for the Indonesia Warriors in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).