Alab outhustles Singapore in revenge home game

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Alab Pilipinas continued its strong mid-season push in the ASEAN Basketball League with a thrilling 86-77 overtime win over the Singapore Slingers at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna on Sunday, February 2.

It was a contrast of efforts from the Philippine team as it avenged a sorry 64-85 loss in their matchup in Singapore last January 12.

World Import Nick King carried much of the offensive load yet again for Alab as he tallied a game-high 20 points on 20 shots.

Sam Deguara, meanwhile, corralled 20 rebounds to compensate for an 8-point finish, while Fil-Am guard Jason Brickman built on his newfound scoring aggressiveness with 16 points, 5 assists, and 4 boards.

With the win, the Jimmy Alapag-coached squad stayed in the running for the 1st seed as it rose to 8-4 for the season.

Singapore, meanwhile, continued its up-and-down campaign as it fell to 5-6, snapping a two-game winning streak.

"That's really our challenge at this point of the season – finding that consistency and how we play. We've been really up and down the last few weeks," Alapag said after the game.

"But again, you know, coming off of the game in Thailand just the other night and not really having much preparation for this Singapore game, I thought the guys' energy and focus for the most part was really, really good. And again, it's just something that we have to sustain going forward."

After Alab led by as many as 16, 49-33, early in the 3rd quarter, the Slingers somehow catapulted themselves to a 53-52 lead near the end of the period after completing a massive 20-3 counterattack.

The road team stayed ahead by 4, 69-65, as late as the midway mark of the final frame after a Xavier Alexander triple.

However, Singapore gave up a crucial 6-0 run as Alab took a 71-69 lead off a crafty Brickman layup in the final 2:33 of regulation.

Both teams got multiple chances to swing the game in their favor, but ultimately fought to a 71-all stalemate after 7-foot-1 Anthony McClain rejected the 7-foot-5 Deguara at the rim to end the 4th.

Alab then ganged up on the visiting Slingers in the extra period with a game-sealing 13-2 run, ending with a wide-open triple from Brickman for the 86-77 finish with 13 ticks to spare.

Wei Meng Kwek led all 5 Slinger starters who notched double-digit scoring with 19 points on a 7-of-8 clip. Marcus Elliot and Alexander chipped in 18 and 11 markers, respectively, as they played all 45 minutes of game time.

The Scores

Alab Pilipinas 86 - King 20, Brickman 16, Gray 10, Domingo 9, Deguara 8, Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Caracut 6, Williams 5, Heading 3, Vigil 2.

Singapore 77 - Elliott 18, Kwek 17, Goh 12, Alexander 11, McClain 11, Ng 6, J. Lim 0, K. Lim 0, Oh 0.

Quarters: 25-19, 42-31, 54-55, 71-71, 86-77.

– Rappler.com