ABL: Caelan Tiongson shows defensive chops in Alab debut

Danine Cruz on Dec 10, 2018 10:36 AM
ABL: Caelan Tiongson shows defensive chops in Alab debut
Off to a good start

Caelan Tiongson kickstarted his Alab Pilipinas career in the ABL with a display of his strong defensive mettle.

In his debut game wearing the Pilipinas jersey versus CLS Knights Indonesia Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Sports Complex, Tiongson finished with four points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in 27 minutes of action bolstering their dominant 94-67 victory.

The Fil-Am athlete formerly played for the Chong Son Kung Fu before finding his way to the Philippines. Back in the China-based squad, he posted averages of 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists but with Alab, he bared that offense might not be his bread-and-butter.

"If you look at the box scores after the game, I didn't shoot the ball all night but with this team I don't think that is gonna be my role. I think I had a good rhythm finding my teammates and rebounding the ball, playing defense," said Tiongson.

With teammates who are consistent offensive players like Ray Parks and Renaldo Balkman, it is true that Tiongson can take the backseat in shooting.

"I was excited to play the game, little bit anxious, it affected a couple of my shots but I know what I'm good at with basketball and I know the teammates I have around me so we won, we won by a lot of points so that means I did my job so I'm happy about that," added the 26-year old.

Tiongson held a good account of himself in his first game after showing how hardworking he is for battling every loose ball and for giving CLS' Maxie Esho a hard time finding his shots. His efforts did not go unnoticed, especially by the fans in the venue, something that Tiongson was very thankful for.

"My first year playing professional basketball was a lonely experience but here I feel loved so I love it here and I hope I can show love back to the fans like they show me so I love it," described the 6-foot-5 forward.

Head coach Jimmy Alapag who described Tiongson a season ago as the next Rudy Hatfield also expressed how pleased he is with his new recruit's performance.

"I think tonight he just kind of reinforced what I said about him last year. He only had four points but he was +27 on the efficiency. He only had four points but he had eight rebounds and seven assists. If you guys remember, that is exactly what Rudy Hatfield was, just kinda does a little bit of everything," Alapag said referring to the PBA champion during the early 2000's.

Tiongson and the rest of Alab will travel next to Indonesia for their away game versus CLS on Sunday, December 16.

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