MANILA, Philippines – Hong Kong Eastern yanked out an annoying thorn on their side as they finally beat San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, 88-83, in ABL Season 9 in Hong Kong on Wednesday, February 13.
Without 7-foot-3 banger PJ Ramos to bother him, 7-foot-5 giant Sam Deguara ran wild all over Alab, tallying 18 points with eye-popping game-highs of 31 rebounds and 8 blocks.
Newly-acquired import Michael Holyfield also chipped in a huge 19-point, 20-board double-double to help out Eastern, who snapped Alab’s season-high seven-game winning streak.
Alab lost their big anchor for the night as Ramos was hit with food poisoning.
After losing their first 3 matchups, Hong Kong finally scored the breakthrough win to go up 12-9 in the standings while the defending champs fell to 13-3, albeit still at 1st place.
Reigning two-time Local MVP Ray Parks Jr erupted on a personal 8-0 run at the start of the 4th frame to give Alab their first lead of the night, 72-71.
Caelan Tiongson and Parks then conspired for 5 more markers to extend the lead to 5, 77-71, at the 6-minute mark.
However, Marcus Elliot and Ki Lee piled on two straight threes to tie the game, 77-all, just 50 seconds later.
Holyfield then punctuated the 11-0 response with a clutch putback, 82-77, with 1:22 left in regulation.
After Deguara pushed the lead to 4, 84-80, Alab wasted its next crucial possession with a 24-second violation ending at the 33-second mark.
Lee then sealed the deal with two charities off the penalty, 86-80.
Parks ended with a game-high 29 points on a 10-of-17 (58%) shooting.
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Renaldo Balkman filled in as the team’s center and only managed 14 points and 12 rebounds as a result. Stud point guard Ethan Alvano chipped in 11 points and 10 assists for the double-double finish.
Alab finished with 36 team rebounds, only 5 more than Deguara’s solo effort.
Hong Kong 88 – Holyfield 19, Deguara 18, Lee 17, Elliott 13, Chan 9, Lau 6, Tang 3, Lam 3, Siu 0, Yang 0, Xu 0.
Alab Pilipinas 83 - Parks 29, Balkman 14, Alvano 11, Urbiztondo 11, Tiongson 9, Domingo 6, Alabanza 2, Rosser 1, Javelona 0, Rivero 0, Torres 0.
Quarters: 27-15, 43-36, 71-64, 88-83.