MANILA, Philippines — Kiefer Alas was chasing a loose ball when he crashed into the basket support. He hurt his knee necessitating a couple of stitches. Nevertheless, his team, the De La Salle Zobel Juniors Archers, swept their divisional series for the title.
The following day, Sunday, October 8, DLSZ was to play in a second consecutive finals — the 10-Under Championship of the Smart Breakdown Basketball Invitationals.
Some of the DLSZ coaches intimated that should Kiefer not play; he should at least be physically present to give them a confidence boost. Not suiting up was the farthest from the mind of the youngest of basketball coach Louie Alas’ four basketball-playing sons.
“Papa, I will play,” he informed his father the night before.
“Knowing him,” reflected the father a couple of days after the game, “he is in pain but he will play.”
True enough, the young boy suited up in the finals against the Xavier Golden Stallions.
Kiefer didn’t have his best game, but he contributed to the overall effort with a stat line of seven points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal versus one turnover. It was in the second quarter where his impact was felt. DLSZ was behind 14-13 after the first 10 minutes of play.
In the second frame, Alas scored seven points while hauling down two boards and issuing an assist. It was his baskets that saw the Junior Archers take the lead once and for all. By the half, DLSZ led 42-26, and they coasted to a 76-62 victory and a second successive championship.
“Siguro among my sons,” reflected the father a couple of days after the back-to-back title games, “si Kiefer yung pinaka-aggressive at that age.”
Kiefer can shoot from the outside and attack the basket. Right now, with his body still growing, it looks like he will play either backcourt or the three-spot.
The elder Alas has three other basketball playing kids — Kevin who is with the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA, Junjun who is playing for Paranaque in the Maharlika Basketball league (of Manny Pacquiao), and Kenneth who is serving his residence with Far Eastern University after transferring from San Beda.
When asked of his burgeoning basketball career, Kiefer merely said, “I hope to make my family and school proud.”
This early, the youngest son’s career is turning up aces.