Balkman fuels Alab Pilipinas to seventh straight win

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 11, 2018 10:08 PM
Balkman fuels Alab Pilipinas to seventh straight win
Renaldo Balkman was the difference-maker for Alab Pilipinas for the fourth time in a row

For the fourth game in a row in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League, Renaldo Balkman was the man for Alab Pilipinas.

Scoring 13 of his 36 points in the final frame, Balkman put the Filipinos on his more than capable shoulders and carried them past very game home team CLS for an 80-73 win on Sunday at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Surabaya, Indonesia.

The Puerto Rican powerhouse also hauled in 10 rebounds and three blocks, but it was his outburst in the payoff period that spurred the Philippines to a seventh win in a row and 10th overall in 14 games.

With Alab trailing by a point after three quarters, Balkman took matters into his own hands and had all but two points in an 8-0 run that snatched away a 67-60 lead for his team.

Then with the Knights threatening anew at 70-71 inside the last six minutes, it was again the 6-foot-8 big man who pounded in five points, including a thunderous throwdown, in a 9-3 counter that re-upped the Filipinos’ advantage to 80-73.

That edge would hold for the next 37 seconds.

Flanking Balkman were Justin Brownlee, who was one assist shy of a triple-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, as well as Ray Parks Jr. who chipped in 17 markers, four boards, and four assists.

Extending its unbeaten run, the Philippines is now breathing down the necks of league-leading and defending champion Hong Kong and impressive rookie team Chong Son of China.

For the Indonesians, Brian Williams showed the way with 24 points and 17 rebounds.

BOX SCORES

SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 80 – Balkman 36, Parks Jr. 17, Brownlee 16, Domingo 8, Urbiztondo 3, Raymundo 0, Celiz 0, Sumalinog 0, Hontiveros 0, Alabanza 0, Javelona 0

CLS KNIGHTS 73 – Williams 24, Edwards 17, Wuysang 13, Jensen 12, Lish 5, Enguio 2, Kurniawan 0, Hidayat 0, Nugroho 0

QUARTER SCORES: 25-19, 47-43, 59-60, 80-73

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