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Louie Alas out as Phoenix coach

Louie Alas has been relieved as the Fuel Masters' head coach. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Just when Louie Alas' suspension was supposed to elapse, Phoenix cut ties with the champion coach.

The Fuel Masters announced on Friday night that Alas will no longer be their head coach.

"After much deliberation, [the] management has decided to discontinue Mr. Louie Alas' services as head coach," Phoenix said in a statement.

The team initially handed Alas a 15-day suspension after violating the practice protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The said ban ended on Thursday, which means Alas would have returned to the Fuel Masters' camp on Friday.

But instead, they decided to move on from Alas, who won titles for the Letran Knights in the NCAA and the Manila Metrostars in the defunct MBA.

"With the possibility of a PBA restart, the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters have begun discussions on their future plans," Phoenix further explained its decision to fire Alas.

The team then made Topex Robinson its interim coach.

With the NCAA pushed to early 2021 due to the pandemic, the concurrent Lyceum coach may finish the PBA season, assuming it resumes by October, as Phoenix mentor or "until such time."

"We believe in Coach Topex’s capacity to lead this team and we look forward to the Fuel Masters’ resurgence as one of the league’s exciting contenders," the Fuel Masters' statement concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_