Finals-bound Alab Pilipinas dethrones Hong Kong in emphatic sweep
Alab Pilipinas is rolling as they enter their first-ever Finals in the Asean Basketball League.
STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Alab Pilipinas is into its first-ever Finals now in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League.
And they are going there with their confidence as high as ever, having gone undefeated thus far in the playoffs.
Renaldo Balkman yet again proved to be no match for neither Ryan Moss nor Christian Standhardinger, Justin Brownlee and Ray Parks Jr. were right there by his side, and the Filipinos blasted the crown off the heads of now-dethroned Hong Kong, 79-72, on Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.
Coming off a league playoff record 46-point outburst in Game 1 of the semifinals series, the Puerto Rican reinforcement remained a force and pounded in 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Balkman was a mismatch inside and also had the thunderous throwdown that detonated the 16-5 burst that broke off a tied tally of 43-all and built up a 52-43 advantage in favor of the Philippines.
The home team would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game, even as Marcus Elliott and Christian Standhardinger kept coming and pulled Eastern to within 70-77 with 38 ticks to go.
Brownlee’s free throws and a pair of defensive stops, however, ultimately boosted Alab to the best-of-five championship round.
There, they try to continue streaking all the way to their first-ever title.
Brownlee wound up with a team-high 22 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, and three assists while Parks Jr. chipped in 13 markers, 13 boards, and five dimes.
Pao Javelona also came up big with 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists as starting point guard Josh Urbiztondo was still hobbled.
Winners of seven straight, the Filipinos will face either top-seed Chong Son of China or resurgent Mono of Thailand in the Finals commencing next week.
Elliott topped the scoring column for Hong Kong with 25 points. Filipino-German Standhardinger had a 15-point, 16-rebound double-double in his last game in the ABL before he takes his talents to San Miguel in the PBA.
SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 79 — Brownlee 22, Balkman 21, Parks 13, Javelona 11, Raymundo 6, Alabanza 4, Domingo 2, Hontiveros 0, Sumalinog 0, Urbiztondo 0.
HONG KONG EASTERN 72 — Elliott 25, Standhardinger 16, Moss 15, Lamb 8, Lee 4, Lau 3, Tang 1, Xu 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 16-16, 37-32, 60-49, 79-72.
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