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Alas takes detour to NLEX

Kevin Alas

The three-team deal that should have revolved around Rain or Shine rookie Kevin Alas fell through although the No. 2 overall pick in this PBA draft is still headed out of the Elasto Painters.

And that is with his former team North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

A source said yesterday that the initial proposal failed to get clearance from ROS officials, bogging down negotiations. It ended with a one-on-one swap with Alas going to NLEX and Rain or Shine getting a first round pick next year.

“Best case is NLEX will get Alas, while Rain or Shine gets the first round pick,” said a source in a text message to TEMPO.

The initial trade proposal, according to sources, had Alas going to Talk ‘N Text with ROS obtaining veteran forward KG Canaleta, who will then be dealt to NLEX with Rain or Shine obtaining NLEX’s first round draft rights in 2015.

Rain or Shine is unloading Alas due to the ‘surplus’ of guards on its team particularly after Paul Lee was signed to a fresh two-year maximum contract worth more than P10 million.

ROS coach Yeng Guiao has already talked to Alas about the trade after the team’s tuneup match against expansion team Kia Motors last Tuesday.

Yesterday, Alas did not attend the team’s training session at the NEGA Gym in Greenhills San Juan. The former Letran stalwart said he holds no grudge against Rain or Shine or Guiao, saying he is thankful the coach is concerned about his future.

“Sinabi sa’kin ni coach na gusto niya ko, kaso madaming guards sa Rain or Shine,” said Alas, who played two years with NLEX in the D-League. “Malungkot kasi naging malapit na ako sa players ng ROS, kapamilya ang turingan ng team.”

“Pero alam naman natin na kahit kanino pwedeng mangyari na ma-trade ka. Trabaho lang. Thankful pa din ako kay Coach Yeng kasi inisip nya yung kapalaran ko, na mas mag-shine ako kung sa ibang team.”

NLEX, a six-time champion in the PBA D-League that purchased the existing franchise of Air21 reportedly for R200 million, has yet to make its pro debut but has made some retooling on its roster.

Early this week, NLEX was involved in a three-team trade and landed rookie forward Harold Arboleda and a 2018 second round pick from Globalport. Prior to that, they dealt forward Sean Anthony and guard Simon Atkins to expansion team Blackwater in exchange for rookie Juneric Baloria plus a pair of second round picks in 2015 and 2016.

The Road Warriors, though, had to give up rookie forward Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, the No. 4 overall pick who ended up with fellow Manny V. Pangilinan-owned team Talk ’N Text.

NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre still feels that the deal gives the team a formidable chance to contend for a playoff spot in the coming PBA Philippine Cup which starts October 19.

“Personally I think we have a strong, competitive team,” said Dulatre, who holds a similar position with NLEX when it was still in the PBA D-League. “It’s still a win-win situation for us because we got young players, and we got future picks.”