Louie Alas

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Francisco Luis "Louie" Alas (born October 10, 1963) is a multi-titled Filipino basketball head coach. He is the former head coach of the Letran Knights in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and will soon coach the Philippine Patriots in the ASEAN Basketball League. He was also a former coach of Mobiline from 2000 to 2001 in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Career[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Alas' basketball career began in Adamson University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines where he played for the school's team Adamson Falcons. During his playing days, he is considered one of the best amateur players in the country and has won a couple PABL championships. In the PABL, he played for ESQ, Purefoods, Philips Sardines and Burger Machine.

In 1990, he was drafted by Purefoods late in the first round but never really had the chance to play for the PBA team due to a career-ending ACL injury he sustained during practice. Unable to play basketball anymore, he shifted his gears towards coaching.

He also used to work in the Philippine Sports Commission.

Coaching[edit]

His first coaching job was with the Saint Francis of Assisi Baby Doves in Las Piñas City. He steered the team to a championship in the 1995–1996 season of the National Capital Region Athletic Association. Afterwards, he moved to Las Piñas College. For a time, Alas used to be an assistant coach in Adamson University.

PBA and MBA[edit]

He had numerous stints as an assistant coach in teams like the Alaska Milkmen, Sta. Lucia Realtors and lastly with the Purefoods Carne Norte Beefies under Eric Altamirano from 1996 to 1998. Later on, he transferred to the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association where he steered the Manila Metrostars to 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 Blades when the chance to coach PBA's Mobiline Phone Pals was offered to him, he immediately took it. 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 ended up losing in the semis. The Pop Cola Panthers was the first PBA team to offer him a coaching job but decided to stick with the Metrostars.

Controversy[edit]

However, before the 2002 season, Alas was fired from the team. According to reports, Alas angered top Mobiline officials when he chose Gilbert Demape over John Arigo as the team's top rookie draft pick.[1] 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.[2] On December 3, 2001, Mobiline announced that Alas had stepped down as the team's head coach.[3]

Alas was replaced by American Bill Bayno who immediately received heavy criticism from the nationalist Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines to due to his nationality].

NCAA and PBL[edit]

In 1998, Alas barged into NCAA territory with Letran. He immediately captured that year's championship trophy by sweeping the San Sebastian Stags in a best-of-three series.

In 2003, his Letran Knights will face the Stags again in the finals and once again he prevailed thanks to the heroics of Boyet Bautista, Aaron Aban and Jonathan Pinera. Right after the title win, the Knights joined the Philippine Basketball League 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 first finals appearance only to lose to the Harbour Centre Portmasters in the pivotal fifth game in their best-of-5 series.

In 2005, He gave Letran its 16th NCAA Championship by beating the PCU Dolphins 2-1 in their epic championship series despite being down 0-1. They also ended the eliminations with a 13-1 win-loss card which is their best record since 1950.

In 2007, he suffered his very first NCAA championship loss in the hands of the San Beda Red Lions who swept them in two games. during the championship series, basketball analysts were very aware of his coaching mystique that some believed he can pull off an upset against the mighty Red Lions.

RP Youth and RP Men's Team[edit]

He made his coaching debut in the national team by assisting San Beda College High School coach Ato Badolato in the SEABA Jrs in 1996. The team was led by Ren-Ren Ritualo and Aries Dimaunahan. A year later, he was named coach of the youth team and formed a formidable lineup composed of future basketball stars like Kerby Raymundo, Enrico Villanueva, Cyrus Baguio, Yancy de Ocampo and others. The team won the SEABA Championship and placed third in the ABC Juniors Championship.

After his stint with the youth, he was tasked to coach the Philippines in the 1999 Southeast Asian Games in Brunei. Majority of his players were from his MBA team, the Manila Metrostars because 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.

In December 2007, he helped the Philippines win another gold medal in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Ratchaburi, Thailand. This time though, he was an assistant coach to Junel Baculi.

Personal life[edit]

Alas hails from the fishing town of Unisan, Quezon, and is the seventh of eight children. His younger brother, Carmelo "Mel" Alas, is also a basketball coach.

He is married to Liza Alas (née Platón), a hotel manager and has four sons: Kristoffer Louie, Kevin, Kenneth, and Keiffer all of whom are inclined towards basketball. All three are currently enrolled in Letrán with Kristoffer and Kevin playing for the Letran Knights.

Coaching profile[edit]

He is known to nicknames such as "Coach A" or "The Ace Coach". He has a reputation of being a very good motivator and a certified winner. So far he has tallied a total of 162 wins and 93 losses with .635 winning percentage.

Some of his coaching idols are Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, Dean Smith, John Wooden, and 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. 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. He only missed the NCAA Final Four twice (2002 and 2010).

As a coach, he specializes on defense which is the important key in winning a championship. He became the first non-Letran graduate coach in school history to give Letran at least 3 championships (1998, 2003, and 2005) and 8 Final Four appearances.

Coaching record[edit]

Season League Conference Team Elims./Clas. round Playoffs
W L PCT Finish PG W L PCT Results
1998* NCAA CSJL Won NCAA championship
1999* MBA North MLA 26 4 .867 1st–North 7 4 2 .667 Won MBA championship
2000* PBA Governors Cup MOB 7 2 .778 1st 6 2 5 .286 Lost in third place playoff
2001* PBA All-Filipino MOB 5 9 .357 8th 1 0 1 .000 Lost in quarterfinals
Commissioner's Cup MOB 4 8 .333 7th 1 0 1 .000 Lost in quarterfinals
Governors Cup TNT 7 6 .538 5th 1 0 1 .000 Lost in quarterfinals
2002 NCAA CSJL 7 7 .500 6th Did not qualify
2003 NCAA CSJL 11 3 .786 1st 4 3 1 .750 Won NCAA championship
2004 NCAA CSJL 9 5 .643 3rd 2 1 1 .500 Lost in the semifinals
2005 NCAA CSJL 13 1 .929 1st 4 3 1 .750 Won NCAA championship
2006 NCAA CSJL 10 4 .714 3rd 2 0 2 .500 Lost in the semifinals
2007 NCAA CSJL 9 3 .750 2nd 3 1 2 .333 Lost in the Finals
2008 NCAA CSJL 9 5 .643 3rd 3 1 2 .333 Lost in the semifinals
2009 NCAA CSJL 12 6 .667 4th 1 0 1 .000 Lost in the semifinals
2009–10 ABL PHI 10 3 .733 1st 5 5 0 1.000 Won ABL championship
2010 NCAA CSJL 7 9 .438 5th Did not qualify
2010–11 ABL PHI 9 6 .600 2nd 4 2 2 .500 Lost in the Finals
2011 NCAA CSJL 14 4 .778 3rd 2 1 1 .500 Lost in the semifinals
2012 NCAA CSJL 12 6 .647 3rd 5 3 2 .600 Lost in the Finals
NCAA* record 125 64 .661 3 NCAA championships
MBA* record 30 6 .833 1 MBA championship
PBA record 25 33 .431
ABL record 26 11 .703 1 ABL championship
Totals* 206 114 .644 Includes playoffs

*incomplete

Preceded by
Mollet Pineda
Letran Knights head coach
1998
Succeeded by
Binky Favis
Preceded by
Ricky Dandan
Manila Metrostars head coach
1999
Succeeded by
Boysie Zamar
Preceded by
Binky Favis
Letran Knights head coach
2002-2012
Succeeded by
Caloy Garcia
Preceded by
Bogs Adornado (interim)
AirAsia Philippine Patriots head coach
2009-11
Succeeded by
Glenn Capacio

References[edit]