MANILA – San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas renewed its mastery of the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions with a 96-81 beatdown in the 2018-2019 ASEAN Basketball League on Friday night at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai.
Renaldo Balkman led the way with 32 points, while Bobby Ray Parks Jr. added 23 markers and seven rebounds for the defending champions Alab Pilipinas, which improved to 13-2.
Peter John Ramos fell short of a triple-double as he finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for Alab, which have won all of its three matches so far against the Long Lions.
Holding to a slim 73-71 lead after three quarters, the Alab Pilipinas started strong in the fourth frame behind locals Ethan Alvano, Lorenzo Domingo and Joshua Urbiztondo for an 88-76 lead.
The Long Lions tried its best to make it a ball game but could not cut down the deficit to single digits before Balkman and Ramos conspired for late conversions to increase the lead to 15 markers.
O’Darien Bassett tallied 24 points, while 7-foot-4 reinforcement Samuel Deguara added 20 markers, but was held scoreless in the final quarter, for the slumping Long Lions (11-9).
Alab Pilipinas, which is currently on a seven-game winning run, will have a week-long break before returning to action on Feb. 15 against the struggling Macau Wolf Warriors./PN