- Louie Alas
Francisco Luis "Louie" Alas (born
October 10, 1963) is a multi-titled Filipino basketball head coach. He now handles Colegio de San Juan de Letrán's Letran Knightsin the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He was also a former coach of Mobiline (now known as Talk N' Text Phone Pals, from 2000 to 2001) in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Alas' basketball career began in
Adamson University(under the University Athletics Association of the Philippines) where he played forward for the school's Adamson Falcons(now Adamson Soaring Falcons).
In 1990, he was drafted by Purefoods (now Purefoods Chunkee Giants) but never really had the chance to play for the PBA team due to a career-ending ACL injury he sustained during pre-season. Unable to play basketball anymore, he shifted his gears towards coaching.
He also used to work in the
Philippine Sports Commission.
His first coaching job was with the Saint Francis of Assisi Baby Doves in
Las Piñas City. He steered the team to a championship gold in the 1995–1996 season of the National Capital Region Athletic Association. Afterwards, he moved to Las Piñas College. For a time, Alas was also assistant coachin Adamson University.
PBA & MBA
He had numerous stints as an assistant coach to teams like the Alaska Milkmen and Sta. Lucia Realtors and lastly with the Purefoods Corned Beef Cowboys/Purefoods Carne Norte Beefies under Eric Altamirano from 1996 to 1998. Later on, he transferred to the now-defunct
Metropolitan Basketball Associationwhere he steered the Manila Metrostarsto a championship title in during the 1999 season following an incredible 22 game-winning streak which is the longest in Philippine professional basketball history. He was awarded that year's Coach of the Year.
Alas was supposed to handle another MBA team, the
Batangas Bladeswhen the chance to coach PBA's Mobiline was offered to him. Prior to this, Mobiline was struggling under Eric Altamirano. While in the PBA, he led the Phone Pals to its best record in the elimination phase of the Governor's Cup in 2000 and 2001 but all end up losing in the semis. Pop Cola (now known as Coca-Cola Tigers) was the first PBA team to offer him a coaching job but decided to stick with the Metrostars.
However, before the 2002 season, Alas was fired from the team. According to reports, Alas angered top Mobiline officials when he chose
Gilbert Demapeover John Arigoas the team's top rookie draft pick. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-69791850.html] But he denied this allegation, saying that he had a series of meetings with the owners, and was given the freedom to decide on what he felt was best for the team. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-71061779.html] On December 3, 2001, Mobiline announced that Alas had stepped down as the team's head coach. [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-80478872.html]
Alas was replaced by American Bill Bayno who immediately received heavy criticism from the
nationalist Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippinesto due to his citizenship.
NCAA & PBL
In 1998, Alas barged into NCAA territory. He immediately captured that year's championship trophy by sweeping the San Sebastián Stags in a best-of-three series.
In 2003, the Knights and the Stags faced each other once again in the finals. But the Letrán once again prevailed against San Sebastián. Right after the title win, the Knights joined the
Philippine Basketball League(PBL) under the name of Toyota Otis-Letran. The Knights captured the third place trophy in the league's Unity Cup after beating defending champions Hapee Toothpaste Sparklers. in the 2006 PBL Unity Cup, he led Toyota to its finals appearance only to lose to the Harbour Centre Portmasters in 5 games in their best-of-5 series.
In 2005, He gave Letran its 16th NCAA Championship by beating the
PCU Dolphins2-1 in their epic championship series despite being down 0-1. they also ended the eliminations with a 13-1 win-loss card.
In 2007, he suffered his first NCAA championship loss in the hands of the
San Beda Red Lions.
RP Youth and RP Men's Team
He made his coaching debut in the national team by assisting legendary
San Beda CollegeHigh School coach Ato Badolatoin the SEABA Jrs. in 1996 led by Renren Ritualoand Aris Dimaunahan. a year later, he was named coach of the youth team and formed a formidable lineup which is composed of future basketball stars like Kerby Raymundo, Enrico Villanueva, Cyrus Baguio, Yancy De Ocampoand others which made the country proud by winning the SEABA championship and placing 3rd in the ABC Jrs championship (now known as FIBA-Asia Jrs).
After his stint with the youth, he was tasked to coach the Philippines in the
1999 Southeast Asian Gamesin Brunei. majority of his players were from his MBA team, the Manila Metrostarsbecause prior to the competition, the Metrostars were the top seeded team in that season. he led the Philippines to a gold medal by sweeping the whole tournament and beating Thailand in the Gold Medal Match.
And last December 2007, he helped the Philippines to win another gold medal in the
2007 Southeast Asian Gamesin Ratchaburi, Thailand but this time an assistant coach to Junel Baculi.
Alas hails from the sleepy fishing town of
Unisan, Quezon, and is the seventh of eight children. His younger brother, Carmelo "Mel" Alas, is also a basketball coach and is currently under his helm as an assistant coach for the Letran Knights.
He is married to Liza Alas (née Platón), a hotel manager and has three sons: Kristoffer Louie, Kevin, and Kenneth, all whom are inclined towards basketball; all three are currently enrolled in Letrán with Kristoffer and Kevin playing for the
Letran Squires. also this year, they're expecting for the arrival of the sixth member of their family.
He is known to nicknames such as "Coach A" or "The Ace Coach". He's also a disciplinarian and a perfectionist coach who believed that not doing the right thing in basketball will become a habit. He has a reputation of being a very good motivator and a certified winner that's why majority of the teams he coached always end up winning the whole thing or having an improved season from the previous year.
Some of his coaching idols are
Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, Dean Smith, John Woodenand Mike Krzyzewski.
He also has the ability to transform a weak team to a championship contender and turning unknown or under the radar players into stars and his players from Letran that went up to the pros are the best example of that. In 2007, his Letran team despite undergoing a three year rebuilding stage surprisingly made it to the finals only to lose to the San Beda Red Lions but the team were adored by showing their winning attitude despite being a rebuilding team.
As a coach, he specializes on defense which is the important key to win a championship. He became the first non Letran graduate coach in school history to give Letran at least 3 championships (1998, 2003 and 2005).
When he took the Letran coaching job in 1998, he was criticized by many Letran alumni by not being a full blooded Letranite (Letran's hiring of him broke the tradition of only a full blooded Letranite can handle the basketball team) and at one point they question his ability to win and give Letran a championship and during that season, he silenced his detractors and critics by winning the championship and that led to a strong partnership between Alas and Letran and at one time he told his team that his heart now is with Letran.
*Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.
*We have to play smart basketball from start to finish to have a better chance against Granny. We have to start well and not just play catch-up.
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