Tanduay Alab Pilipinas and Singapore Slingers will face each other for the third time this ABL season on Wednesday, January 10.
The two proud teams squared off just last Sunday, January 7, in what turned out to be an instant classic. Alab was able to outlast the Slingers in overtime, winning 89-80.
AJ Mandani was able to send the game into overtime, but the Slingers ran out of steam. They were outscored by Alab 11-2 in the final five minutes.
Justin Brownlee was the star of the Philippines’ game against the Westports Malaysia Dragons last week. Versus the Slingers, it was Renaldo Balkman’s turn to shine as he provided an all-around game of 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. Brownlee finished with only 17 points but his back-to-back baskets in the overtime period provided enough momentum for Alab to get the win.
New Singapore import Chris Charles had a double-double performance of 22 points and 11 rebounds. He was back to his usual self, protecting the rim as he tallied four blocks. Unfortunately, he also six turnovers in his Singapore debut.
Singapore missed the scoring production of Xavier Alexander. The X-Man had forgetful game against Alab. After notching a triple-double in their first meeting, he only had 10 points last game. Although he did have 9 rebounds and 9 assists, his 2-for-19 shooting was a sight for sore eyes.
Despite the presence of Charles and Alexander, the Slingers got manhandled in the shaded area. They were outscored in the paint, 52-40, and was outrebounded 52-39.
Three-pointers can also be a critical factor when the two teams lock horns on Wednesday. It’s a coin toss with regards to the control of the paint as both squads have imposing imports. It was back-to-back triples by Ng Han Bin and Robby Celiz that set up the aforementioned shot by Mandani which sent the game into overtime. And on Alab’s last possession in regulation, they went with a desperation shot from Urbiztondo. Whichever team can knock down a momentum-shifting triple, that could be the difference.
Alab is currently riding a three-game winning streak while the Slingers have suffered back-to-back losses.
Tipoff between Alab and the Slingers will be at 8:00PM, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Philippines.