MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Alab Pilipinas surely could have used the services of star returnee Justin Brownlee at the ASEAN Basketball League in Malaysia as the Kuala Lumpur Dragons soared to a 92-80 blowout at the MABA Stadium on Wednesday, February 19.
Due to Brownlee missing his flight to Malaysia according to team owner Charlie Dy, the fan favorite import’s debut will likely be pushed back to Sunday, February 23, as Alab faces the Macau Black Bears at the Sta Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
With the visitors suddenly left to fend for themselves on the road with one less World Import, the hometown Dragons blazed hot with 23 first-quarter points as Will Artino single-handedly outscored Alab, 14-12, in the first 10 minutes.
The Philippine team never trimmed the deficit to single-digit from that point onwards as Kuala Lumpur stretched the gap as far as 27 points, 88-61, off two Terrel Davis free throws at the 5:54 mark of the 4th quarter.
With nothing to lose but the game itself, Alab gunner Nick King then took matters into his own hands, scoring 17 of a team-high 28 points in garbage time.
Fil-Aussie Jordan Heading wasted an ABL career-best 26 markers in the losing effort. Lawrence Domingo was already the third-best team scorer with just 6 points as Alab slipped to 9-6 for the season.
Artino, meanwhile, kept his foot on the gas and finished with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds on an efficient 11-of-19 clip. Davis backstopped with 26 markers and 10 assists in the easy win as the Dragons rose to 5th place with an 8-7 card.
Kuala Lumpur 92 – Artino 29, Davis 26, Bell 11, Lepichev 11, Ting 7, Chin 4, Tem 3, Loh 1, Wong 0, Tan 0.
Alab Pilipinas 80 – King 28, Heading 26, Domingo 6, Caracut 5, Brickman 4, Deguara 4, Vigil 3, Gray 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Rangel 0.
Quarters: 23-12, 46-32, 77-55, 92-80.