Alab proves hotter than Heat for third win in a row

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 28, 2018 08:17 PM
Alab proves hotter than Heat for third win in a row
Alab Pilipinas has only lost once with Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee as reinforcements (FILE Photo).

Alab Pilipinas continues to roll in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League with reinforcements Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman spearheading the charge.

Brownlee did it all anew and Balkman remained a force as the Filipinos silenced Saigon and its rowdy crowd inside the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City, 95-87, on Sunday.

The Philippines was having trouble wresting control away from the Heat until Balkman’s thunderous throwdown capped off a 13-4 run that erased a four-point halftime deficit and erected a 55-51 lead in the third.

Moses Morgan made good on a triple to pull the home team within one only to see Brownlee score five points in a quick 9-0 counter that increased Alab’s lead to its biggest 64-54 late in the quarter.

Still, Saigon kept coming behind Filipino-American Mikey Williams whose triple shot his squad back to just 79-81 inside the last six minutes.

It was at that point, however, that Brownlee and Balkman again joined forces in the Filipinos’ 8-4 answer to for an 89-83 advantage.

The Heat could only trade baskets from there and not long after, Alab was wrapping up its third consecutive victory and sixth overall in 10 games.

Balkman wound up with a 26-point, 20-rebound double-double while Brownlee posted 25 markers and 15 boards.

With those two as reinforcements, the Philippines boasts of a sterling standing of 5-1.

Lo Domingo was also a pleasant surprise with 14 points off the bench while Josh Urbiztondo 13 markers of his own.

On the other hand, despite the best efforts of Morgan, the Heat dropped their third game in a row and now stand at 4-5.

Morgan paced them with 28 points and was flanked by Akeem Scott and Maxie Esho who had 26 and 23 markers, respectively.

BOX SCORES

TANDUAY ALAB PILIPINAS 95 — Balkman 26, Brownlee 25, Domingo 14, Urbiztondo 13, Parks 10, Hontiveros 3, Celiz 2, Maierhofer 2.

SAIGON HEAT 87 — Morgan 27, Scott 26, Esho 23, Williams 9, Arnold 2, Nguyen HPT 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 20-21, 42-47, 70-63, 95-87.

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