Saigon adds to woes of suddenly struggling Alab Pilipinas

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 26, 2017 08:52 PM
Saigon adds to woes of suddenly struggling Alab Pilipinas
Photo courtesy of ABL

After routing them to the tune of 22 points in their first meeting, Alab Pilipinas have now dropped back-to-back games to Saigon in the 2016-2017 Asean Basketball League.

The Filipinos battled until the bitter end, but still ultimately fell to the Heat, 74-78, in their third matchup in the season on Sunday at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Having lost two of their last four assignments, the struggles continued for the Philippines as it dug for itself an 11-point hole early on.

Sampson Carter, continuing to be a bright spot for the struggling squad, willed Alab back into the game.

Thanks to their American import, the Filipinos had the tally tied at 65 until the Vietnamese fired five unanswered points for a 72-65 lead with 1:13 remaining.

The two teams then traded baskets before Ray Parks Jr. made good on two of three of his free throws to pull his team to within four points with four ticks to go.

Anthony Henriquez collared the rebound and embraced the ball as time ran out to send the Philippines to its third defeat out of the previous five – two of those coming at the hands of Saigon.

The good news is that at 8-6, Alab remained in third-place in the standings. Still, to turn things around, it would need Parks Jr. and the rest of the locals to return to form.

Carter showed the way for them with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Parks Jr. had a quiet 14 points and Val Acuna was the only other Filipino in double-digits.

The opposite is true for the Heat which improved to 4-1 since welcoming back American reinforcement Moses Morgan. Now at 5-8, they entered the playoff picture.

Lenny Daniel remained as a force with a 24-point, 15-rebound double-double while Morgan added 20 points to his name.

BOX SCORES

SAIGON HEAT 78 – Daniel 24, Morgan 20, Henriquez 13, Arnold 7, Nguyen T. 6, Nguyen H. 6, Nguyen V. 0

ALAB PILIPINAS 74 – Carter 20, Parks Jr. 14, Hughes 11, Acuna 11, Celiz 5, Cawaling 5, Hubalde 4, Domingo 2, Gavieres 2, Fortuna 0, Knuttel 0

QUARTER SCORES: 22-13, 37-26, 53-53, 78-74

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