Alab moves on from heartbreak after surviving Singapore

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 12, 2017 06:15 PM
Alab moves on from heartbreak after surviving Singapore
GUTS AND GLORY. Ray Parks Jr. had more than enough help against Singapore as pointmen Jeric Fortuna and Jens Knuttel proved to be the difference in the endgame.

A week after letting a win get away from its grasp, Alab Pilipinas took the ball and ran with it all the way back into the win column in the 2016-2017 Asean Basketball League.

Matched up against home team Singapore, the Filipinos made sure their fire burned from start to finish and eventually ended with a 64-62 overtime triumph over the Slingers on Sunday at the OCBC Arena.

Jeric Fortuna, whose foul on Wong Wei Long at the end of regulation caused an extension to the game, more than made up for his mistake with an assist to Sampson Carter in the pivotal possession of overtime.

The American reinforcement made good on both the basket and the bonus for what turned out to be the difference in a close contest.

Ray Parks Jr. only had nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

He had more than enough help, however, as Carter had a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double. James Hughes and Lo Domingo also scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, to help Alab improve to 7-4.

The all-out effort was a much-welcome development as last Sunday, the Philippines was at the wrong end of a come from behind win. Losing a lead of as much as 18, not even Parks Jr. had an answer then.

There was no big lead this time around and the two teams were going at it right from tip-off until the Filipinos took over with an 11-3 burst to begin the final frame. That run, punctuated by five in a row by Robbie Celiz, turned a one-point deficit into a 53-46 advantage inside the last five minutes.

The home team wasn’t giving it away that easy, however, as Wei Long’s triple capped off a run that pulled them to 54-55 with 27 ticks to go.

Following another defensive stop, Wei Long slashed into the lane and fished a foul from Fortuna. Sent to the line, he made the first and muffed on the second to tie the tally at 55 and send the game into overtime.

Singapore continued its control at the start of the extra period and still had a one-point lead with under 30 seconds remaining before Fortuna and Carter found themselves in a two-on-one fastbreak. Jens Knuttel then stripped Wei Long in the next play to seal the deal for Alab.

Not getting the breaks they needed in the endgame, the Slingers fell to 10-4. This, despite another monster effort from Justin Howard who had 28 points and 14 rebounds to go along with four blocks.

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