Alab jumps on Hong Kong to barge back into ABL win column

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 11, 2019 09:55 PM
Alab jumps on Hong Kong to barge back into ABL win column
Alab Pilipinas wasted no time in returning to its winning ways

STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Just two days after turning in their most disappointing outing, Alab Pilipinas switched their effort into overdrive and seized a mighty rebound in the 2018-2019 Asean Basketball League.

Puerto Rican reinforcements PJ Ramos and  Renaldo Balkman continued to bring the pain while Ray Parks Jr. finally caught fire as the Filipinos vented their ire on visiting Hong Kong via a 87-75 victory on Friday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex here.

Just last Wednesday, the defending champions were at the wrong end of an upset by Malaysia. “I felt really bad about the game in Malaysia. We just wanted to start strong in this one,” head coach Jimmy Alapag said post-game.

Without a doubt, the Philippines learned its lesson in this one and got off to a 20-12 start.

Of course, it only helped their cause that the last eight points in that start came without Eastern giant Sam Deguara on the floor after he picked up three fouls.

With the 7-foot-5 Maltese reinforcement on the bench, Parks Jr. and company did nothing but take advantage.

It was the back-to-back Local MVP’s corner triple that punctuated another run that boosted Alab to its biggest lead of the game, 42-26, late in the second quarter.

Hong Kong could only come as close as nine inside the last three minutes only to see Ramos get back-to-back hits that kept them at bay once and for all.

With that, the Filipinos have returned to their winning ways now at 6-1 – still tops in the tournament.

In the end, Ramos stuffed the stat sheet anew with 31 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists – by far, his most dominant showing for the Philippine representatives.

Parks Jr. also had his best game of the season with 24 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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