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PBA: Alas steal seals NLEX win

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NLEX sophomore guard Kevin Alas made up for a late game turnover with a big defensive stop that allowed the Road Warriors to escape with an 82-81 win over the Mahindra Enforcer in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alas stole the ball from Mahindra reinforcement James White, acting as help defender to Asi Taulava when he double- teamed the Enforcer import in the final moments of the game.

Prior to that, Alas, who plays shooting guard during his Letran days but is now adjusting as a point guard, committed a turnover with 54 seconds left when he lost control of the ball after Mahindra guard John Pinto went for a steal.

That error left Alas with no other choice but to recover – that , he said, was his mindset.

“I have to get the ball on that last defensive play,” said Alas. “Sabi ko sa sarili ko before that last play, makuha ko lang yung bola, mako-cover na kung ano man yung naging error ko.”

“Good thing nakuha ko nga. Talagang inabangan ko, timing naman kasi we forced him (White) to go left. So timing lang yung pag-sundot ko, nakuha naman, happy for the win,” added Alas.

That steal was part of NLEX’s eight in the game, typifying Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez’s instructions to play tough on the defensive end to survive a gritty Mahindra side. He also finished with 13 points.

The win was NLEX’s second straight after losing three straight.