When Louie Alas took over as head coach of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, the first thing he did was to bring in someone who shares the same vision in terms of basketball philosophy.
Topex Robinson, who along with Alas, worked as members of the coaching staff of Alaska headed by Alex Compton, was the first one the comebacking PBA coach had in mind when he was building his new coaching staff.
“We share the same vision. We talked a lot even when we were still with Alaska,” Alas told InterAksyon. “We’re two coaches who like to press a lot.”
As coach of the Lyceum Pirates, Robinson carried the squad to its first-ever finals appearance in NCAA history on top of winning 18 games in a row. Their streak were snapped by the San Beda Red Lions in the finals.
In the PBA, Alas will implement the same coaching philosophy. He will be handling his first PBA team since he last coached the Talk N Text Phone Pals in 2002.
“I always want my team to play highly-energized defense. No let up, pressing defense,” added Alas who lauded his players for quickly embracing his system.
“Nakakatuwa nga kasi even sina Willie Wilson and Doug Kramer, talagang they’re buying into the system,” Alas said.
Alas said simply becoming an improved team is what the management wants from him. Phoenix had its best finish as a quarterfinalist in the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup last season.
“Yun lang naman, yung mag-improve from our last season’s finish. But ganun na rin yun, gusto nilang may makitang pagbabago, so may pressure pa rin,” Alas said.