Alab Pilipinas weathers late Saigon storm to clinch home win
LAGUNA, Philippines – Alab Pilipinas averted a late meltdown against the Saigon Heat to hack out an 82-75 win in the ASEAN Basketball League at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex on Sunday, February 9.
The home team saw its 23-point lead shaved to just 4 points in the final minute, but held on to the hard-earned win thanks to crucial buckets from Sam Deguara and Jeremiah Gray to hike their record to 9-5.
Alab is now tied with the Taipei Fubon Braves for the No. 2 spot, just behind the league-leading Mono Vampires, who tote a 10-4 card.
Two Sam Thompson free throws put the visiting Heat withing striking distance, 75-79, with 40 seconds left but Alab practically sealed the victory with a Deguara dunk off a nifty pass from Nick King in the next play.
Saigon missed its next 3 shots as Gray extended the Alab advantage to 7 points by splitting his free throws.
King waxed hot with 26 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals, while Deguara chalked up 15 points on a healthy 7-of-8 clip to go with 7 rebounds.
Gray chimed in 13 points and 6 rebounds, including their first 5 points that gave Alab a scorching start, as Jordan Heading came off the bench with 9 points, all from three-point distance, in the win.
Thompson put the Heat on his back with 32 points and 11 rebounds, but their sluggish first-half showing where they trailed 31-50 proved too much to overcome despite outscoring Alab 21-11 in the final quarter.
Saigon dropped to 3-10 as it remained at the bottom of the standings at 10th place. – Rappler.com