Francisco Luis "Louie" Alas (born October 10, 1963) is a 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 and now with the Alaska Aces as the Assistant Coach.
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.
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
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.
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. 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. On December 3, 2001, Mobiline announced that Alas had stepped down as the team's head coach.
NCAA and PBL
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.
Philippine youth and senior national team
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.
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. Kenneth is currently enrolled in Letrán while Kristoffer and Kevin formerly played for the Letran Knights. And currently playing in the PBA
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 207 wins and 116 losses with .640 winning percentage.
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 10 Final Four appearances.
|1998*||NCAA||—||CSJL||1st||3||3||0||1.000||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||.000||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||129||66||.661||3 NCAA championships|
|MBA* record||30||6||.833||1 MBA championship|
|ABL record||26||11||.703||1 ABL championship|
|Letran Knights head coach
|Manila Metrostars head coach
|Letran Knights head coach
Bogs Adornado (interim)
|AirAsia Philippine Patriots head coach