Fil-Am Munzon stars as Malaysia frustrates Alab Pilipinas
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 05, 2017 10:31 PM
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For the third time in a row, Joshua Munzon left quite an impression on his kababayans who packed the Sta. Rosa Arena in Laguna on Sunday.
However, at the end of it all, the Filipino-American also left his kababayans heartbroken.
Munzon scattered 25 points, Kiwi Gardner took over in the endgame, and Westports Malaysia dropped the upset ax on Alab Pilipinas yet again, 101-91, this one coming in overtime.
The Dragons now own two big-time wins against the Filipinos in the 2016-2017 Asean Basketball League. At 4-13, they remain alive and kicking in the tournament.
All-around player Munzon was at the forefront of this one, as his fellow Filipinos just did not have an answer for him. None from Ray Parks Jr., Val Acuna, Lo Domingo, and Paolo Hubalde were able to keep him in check.
Falling behind by as much as nine after the first quarter, it was the six-foot-four swingman who sparked the defending champions back into the game.
Behind an 18-6 run, Malaysia mounted an 80-69 lead inside the last three minutes only to see Celiz and Parks Jr. rally the home team into tying the tally at the end of regulation.
Overtime was then Gardner time as he scored all but three in the Dragons’ 12-9 blast for a 96-89 advantage with 58 ticks to go.
Munzon sealed the deal, once and for all, with back-to-back steals – stunning Alab, silencing the crowd, and seizing for his team a thrilling triumph.
In past games in Paranaque and Bulacan, the Filipino-American was just as impressive. It was only this one, however, that led to a win.
Gardner backed up Munzon with a near triple-double of 18 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
For the Filipinos, Parks Jr. led the way with 27 points. With no answer to Munzon, however, they suffered yet another setback and now stand at 9-7.
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