Coach Louie Alas has nothing but words of gratitude for the basketball team Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters following his removal from the team.
Alas said on Saturday, September 12, that coaching the Fuel Masters in the last three years has been a great honor and privilege.
“I thank the entire management, headed by Boss Dennis A. Uy for giving me all the support during my tenure,” the 56-year old coach said in a statement.
“I have great respect for all the players I have coached, and I also want to thank all the coaches I have worked with – who poured out their hearts and their efforts to the goal we envisioned to attain,” he added.
Alas also thanked the Fuel Masters community for being so welcoming during his tenure with the PBA team.
The management of the Fuel Masters announced on Friday, September 11, that the team has decided to fire Alas as head coach.
“With the possibility of a PBA restart, the Phoenix Super LPG Fuelmasters have began discussions on its future plans. After much deliberation, management has decided to discontinue Mr. Louie Alas’ services as Head Coach,” the Fuel Masters said in a statement.
The team appointed coach Topex Robinson as interim head of the team’s coaching staff.
“We believe in Coach Topex’s capacity to lead this team and we look forward to the Fuelmasters’ resurgence as one of the league’s exciting contenders,” the management said.
While the coach reacted positively to the news, his son Kevin Alas criticized the Fuel Masters.
Alas, who plays for the PBA team NLEX Road Warriors, said that the Fuel Masters did not defend its ‘suspended player’, and renew several of its players this year.
Calvin Abueva, a player contracted with the Fuel Masters, has been suspended indefinitely by the PBA in 2019, and, after more than a year, the league has yet to green-light the return of the 32-year old forward.
“Some just can’t speak up because of course, they’re thinking of their families. I understand that this is a business but man, don’t expect to win if that’s how you treat your employees — as if they’re disposable,” the younger Alas said in a social media post.
“Really blessed that I play under an organization that treats me with love and respect,” he added.
Before his firing, the Fuel Masters suspended the elder Alas for allegedly violating health protocols set during the practice sessions of the team due to the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.