THE HEAT IS ON: Saigon drops upset ax on Alab
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 05, 2017 10:06 PM
SURPRISE! Saigon pulled off a big-time upset at the expense of home team Alab Pilipinas.
DAVAO CITY – Alab Pilipinas was well on its way to another convincing victory versus Saigon in the 2016-2017 Asean Basketball League.
Come the final frame, however, the Heat bared an alternate ending.
Battling back from a 13-point deficit after three quarters, Saigon shocked the Filipinos right at home in a 72-65 come-from-behind win on Sunday inside a silenced Almendras Gym.
Everything was going right for the home team which led by as much as 15 and was still way ahead, 57-44, heading into the final frame.
It was at that point, however, that everything went wrong as the Heat proved there was no quit in them. The aggressor for all of the last 10 minutes, they went on a 24-7 rampage to suddenly register a 68-64 lead inside the last two minutes.
Lo Domingo had more than a few chances to quell the uprising of Saigon, but was only able to convert one of his four charities to put Alab within 65-68.
The two teams then traded defensive stops until David Arnold’s fadeaway over the outstretched arms of JR Cawaling hammered down the final nail in the coffin of the Filipinos.
Arnold wound up as the high man for the Heat with 19 points while Thai-American Moses Morgan chipped in 15 markers on his own.
Lenny Daniel made an impact anywhere and everywhere and collected 18 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks – one of which a resounding rejection if Ray Parks Jr.’s dunk attempt that turned out to be the shining moment of their rally.
With the upset, the Heat may just have jumpstarted a playoff push now at 2-7. This was their first win against a top three team.
On the other hand, the game ended in disappointment for the home team which was hoping to continue its climb in the standings. Instead, they fall back to 6-4 – still behind 7-2 Hong Kong ans 9-3 Singapore.
Parks Jr. topped the scoring column with 27 points, but was a non-factor in the endgame.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.