MANILA, Philippines – Alab Pilipinas finally secured another home game win in a 94-91overtime victory over Chongson Kung Fu on Wednesday, January 31, at the Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Sports Complex.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. led the fiery Alab comeback with 31 huge points, while both Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee each chipped in 20 of their own. Balkman also grabbed a team-high 16 rebounds while Brownlee had 11 boards himself.
Chongson silenced the raucous Sta. Rosa crowd early on in the 1st quarter, as Anthony Tucker and Mikh McKinney each drained 2 treys to put them up by 8, 18-10. Balkman did most of the heavy lifting for Alab and managed to trim the deficit down to 6, 24-18.
Entering the 2nd period, Balkman bullied in the post for the layup which was followed with a pull-up 3 by Parks to cut the deficit to a single point, 24-23. However, Caelan Tiongson launched a personal 7-0 run to once again quiet down the capacity crowd and put Chongson up 8, 31-23.
Tempers momentarily flared up as Tiongson was called for his 3rd foul midway into the second quarter. CKF head coach Dube-Brais wouldn’t stop complaining but was nevertheless spared from any warning or technical foul.
To add to Alab’s woes, Tucker calmly dropped two straight long bombs to put CKF up 10, 41-31. Although Parks and Lawrence Domingo teamed up for a 6-0 run, Chongson just went on a 6-2 response to end the half with a comfortable 47-39 lead.
With none of his teammates outside Balkman who could buy a bucket, Parks scored 5 straight to come within striking distance of Chongson. However, Justin Howard just took their lead cushion right back, 57-50.
After slumping for much of the game, fan favorite import Brownlee took charge late in the 3rd, scoring 6 points including a thunderous tomahawk jam that cut the CKF lead to 3, 65-62, at the end of the frame.
Entering the 4th quarter, Alab clamped down on defense, with emphatic blocks from Domingo and Balkman. However, they repeatedly failed to box out for the rebounds, resulting in easy Chongson points for Howard.
Halfway through the period, Parks kept chugging along with free-throws and layups and chipping away at the CKF lead. Then Brownlee initiated a 3-on-1 fastbreak with Domingo finishing with a reverse layup. At the very next possession, Brownlee pulled up on the break for three, putting Alab within one, 73-72. However, Chongson once again scooted away, 78-72, courtesy of a Tucker and-1.
However, with less than 3 minutes remaining, Josh Urbiztondo made 3 consecutive threes in 3 straight possessions to suddenly put Alab ahead by 2, 82-80, with 1:33 left in regulation.
After 2 free-throws by McKinney, Brownlee burst out on the break for the go-ahead bucket. At the other end, McKinney’s trey attempt was rejected by Balkman, only for Alab to fumble the ball and give Howard an easy, overtime-forcing bucket.
In the extra period, Balkman and Chongson went back-and-forth, with Balkman scoring the first 5 overtime points. After a few free-throws, with Chongson ending up with a 91-90 lead, Brownlee drew one last foul and sank 2 go-ahead charities. On the other end, Balkman darted for the steal and dumped the ball to Brownlee for one final layup as the Sta. Rosa crowd exploded in celebration.
This win moves Alab up with a 7-4 win loss card (5-1 on the road and 2-3 at home).
Tanduay Alab Pilipinas (94) – Parks 31, Balkman 20, Brownlee 20, Urbiztondo 9, Domingo 8, Maierhofer 6, Celiz 0, Hontiveros 0, Javelona 0.
Chongson Kung Fu (91) – Howard 25, McKinney 25, Tucker 24, Tiongson 11, Kameran 6, He 0, Liu 0, Luo 0, Zhao 0.
Quarter Scores: 18-24, 39-47, 62-65, 84-84, 94-91.