Alapag rues inconsistency as Alab avoids upset axe
LAGUNA, Philippines – Inconsistency remains Alab Pilipinas' biggest problem. And it seems there's no solution in sight yet as it nearly got beaten at home by the cellar-dwelling Saigon Heat in the ASEAN Basketball League.
After an embarrassing 28-point loss to the Kuala Lumpur Dragons, Alab looked poised to notch a convincing bounce-back win against the league-worst Saigon, yet it still ended up settling for a tight 82-75 victory on Sunday, February 9.
The home team led by as many as 23 points only to fizzle out in the final quarter, where the Heat outscored their foes 21-11 and almost stole the triumph.
"Saigon deserved to win the game. We got out of here lucky to get a win," admitted Alab coach Jimmy Alapag.
"We need to find that consistency in how to play because we can't keep going up and down because against the really good teams, we'll lose."
On paper, it seems there's little to worry. But Alab's 9-5 record – which is good enough for a share of the No. 2 spot with the Taipei Fubon Braves – hardly shows its rollercoaster campaign.
Yes, it managed to beat the league-leading Mono Vampire and Fubon, but it also lost to Kuala Lumpur and the Macau Wolf Warriors – teams in the bottom 5.
"We're still trying to find the consistency in our play where we can play a complete 35-40 minute game and we're not there yet," said Alapag.
"The great teams find a way to be consistent and that's going to be a challenge going forward," he added.
The possible return of Justin Brownlee, who helped Alab win the ABL title in 2018, might provide the stability the team needs heading into the second half of the season, but Alapag said they have yet to finalize a deal.
"He's coming off a tough 5 months with Ginebra. I have to check with management to kind of see his availability and we go from there." – Rappler.com