Dragons ruin Parks Jr.ís birthday, run Alab out of Malaysia
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 19, 2017 04:44 PM
RUDE WELCOME. Ray Parks Jr. is a loser on his birthday because of defending champion Malaysia.
Westports Malaysia had a present all wrapped up for birthday boy Ray Parks Jr. and the rest of Alab Pilipinas on Sunday in Cyberjaya.
And it was Kiwi Gardner who delivered the goods.
Stealing the ball and then fishing for free throws at the other end, Gardner lifted the Dragons over the visiting Filipinos, 79-77, in a fast and furious finish at the House of Champions.
Upending Parks. Jr and streaking Alab, the defending champions just got their biggest win in the 2016-2017 Asean Basketball League.
Malaysia was ahead by as much as 12 before the Philippines battled back into the game and even took a four-point lead inside the last three minutes.
Alab would not be able to score the rest of the way, however, as the Dragons firmed up their defense.
That much was evident when Gardner stripped the ball from Robbie Celiz and sped to the other side of the court where he was fouled by Jeric Fortuna.
The American reinforcement coolly converted his charities which proved to be the difference between the two teams as JR Cawaling’s Hail Mary fell short.
Gardner wound up with 21 points, six rebounds, six steals, and five assists to lead the Malaysians in spoiling Parks Jr.’s 24th birthday. Skylar Spencer and Joshua Munzon added 22 and 20 points of their own, respectively.
Alab’s scoring column was topped by Celiz and Sampson Carter who scored 23 and 21 points, respectively. The birthday boy, however, had a second straight off-game and only had eight points and eight rebounds to go along with five turnovers.
Losing for the second time in the last four games, the Filipinos fell back into an 8-5 standing.
On the other hand, the Dragons boosted their record to 3-10.
WESTPORTS MALAYSIA DRAGONS 79 – Spencer 22, Gardner 21, Munzon 20, Yeo 8, Ting 4, Loh 2, Kuek 2, Ma 0, Teo 0, Wong 0
ALAB PILIPINAS 77 – Celiz 23, Carter 21, Fortuna 12, Cawaling 9, Parks Jr. 8, Knuttel 2, Gavieres 2, Domingo 0, Mendoza 0, Thiele 0, Hubalde 0
QUARTER SCORES: 18-13, 40-32, 64-52, 79-77
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