Injured Kiefer Alas out of FIBA U17 Basketball WC PH roster

Kieffer Louie Alas will be out of the Gilas Pilipinas roster for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2024 after suffering a knee injury in the team’s last tuneup game against Canada. Champ Arejola who has been practicing with the squad from the start will be taking Alas’ spot in the Final 12.

“On initial examination by our team doctor, he had a functionally stable knee and the official result of his MRI determined Kieffer has a sprained ACL,” head coach Josh Reyes said. “His knee is swollen and he’ll be out for three weeks. We will be monitoring his situation closely.”

Kiefer Alas [ photo]
Kiefer Alas [ photo]

Alas was not able to see action in the team’s first tuneup match against Egypt in Istanbul, Turkey, due to a stomach illness. Unfortunately, their second scheduled tuneup game against Guinea was cancelled by the African team that will be competing in Group B.

Gilas was able to scramble and schedule another tuneup against a strong team in Canada, who are targeting a podium finish in the competition.

“It was unfortunate because we were playing really well against Canada in the first half,” Reyes stated. “Against Egypt, we struggled and we didn’t have Kieffer so it was important for us to find another tuneup game to give him a chance to play.”

“Kieffer was doing a great job in playmaking, rebounding, and playing defense and this is his value to the squad, more than his scoring,” added the head coach.

Gilas led by as many as seven points in the second period against Canada but disaster struck midway through the quarter as Alas hurt his left knee as he drove to a basket.

“We were playing really good basketball at that point. We used our new sets, played good defense, and rebounded well against a team with four players taller than 6-foot-8. It really felt that the teams starter believing we could compete at this level,” Reyes said. “We still led by two at the end of the second quarter and only played until the third. It’s a tough break for us but the rest of the team is motivated to play together. We’re praying for good results on Kieffer’s MRI but we have to move forward and quickly figure out how to play without him.”

Gilas is in Group A with Lithuania, Spain, and Puerto Rico.

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