Alab Pilipinas recovers from heartbreak, downs Macau
MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Alab Pilipinas avenged a recent heartbreaking loss by outhustling the Macau Black Bears,106-99, in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Friday, January 18.
Alab import Renaldo Balkman, the league's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, erupted for 37 points on top of 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.
His hulking partner-in-crime PJ Ramos tallied an easy 21-point, 14-board double-double with a block while Law Domingo came off the bench for 13 markers on a perfect 6-of-6 clip.
Alab, which absorbed a one-point loss against Taiwan's Formosa Dreamers last weekend, kept hold of solo first place with a 7-2 record. The Bears settled for the 6th spot with a 6-5 slate.
Macau was well within striking distance at the halfway mark of the 4th, trailing by just 2, 88-90.
However, Alab gave the home crowd something to cheer about as they exploded for a game-sealing 16-3 run, ending with a pair of dagger dunks from Caelan Tiongson and Balkman, 106-91, with 1:50 left in regulation.
By then, there was not much the visitors could do except watch as they eventually fell down the stretch.
Ryan Watkins led the way for Macau with a 24-point, 15-board double-double while Anthony Tucker chipped in 22 markers and 10 assists for a dub-dub of his own.
Alab Pilipinas 106 – Balkman 37, Ramos 21, Parks 13, Domingo 13, Javelona 9, Alvano 7, Tiongson 6, Urbiztondo 0, Rosser 0.
Macau 99 – Watkins 24, Tucker 22, Yu 20, McKinney 18, Liu 12, King 3, Lai 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 47-48, 79-73, 106-99.