ALAB PREVAILS AT HOME DESPITE SAIGON’S Q3 BLAST
MANILA — San Miguel Alab Pilipinas withstood a huge third quarter from the Saigon Heat and walked away with a 111-87 win in their ASEAN Basketball League showdown at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Sunday night.
Alab was on track in dealing the Ho Chi Minh City-based side a bad beat after opening a 53-33 lead at halftime.
But the Heat caught fire in the third, trimming the lead down to just eight, 66-58, with 4:01 remaining.
Despite Alab restoring order at the end of the third, Saigon came alive again early in the fourth, opening the quarter with four straight points courtesy of Murphy Burnatowski to bring the gap to eight again, 81-73, with 9:19 to go.
However, Alab pulled away from there, going on a 25-9 run in a 6:15 span to build their largest lead at 24, which was eventually the winning margin.
PJ Ramos dropped 30 points on 14-of-20 shooting, 18 rebounds, and four assists for Alab, who are 2.5 games clear of idle Formosa at the top of the ABL standings at 12-2.
Renaldo Balkman added 29 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and one block.
Ray-Ray Parks returned to action after sitting out the last three games to a groin injury and tallied 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting, two rebounds, seven assists, and two steals.
Chris Dierker put up 20 points, five boards, one dime, and three steals for the Heat, who fell to a virtual three-way tie with the Singapore Slingers, 95-76 winners over the CLS Knights earlier Sunday in Singapore, and the Eastern Long Lions for third place.
Due to the current winning percentage, Singapore (9-6) is in third, Saigon (10-7) is in fourth, and Eastern (11-8) is in fifth. (PNA)
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