Revenge was on the mind of San Miguel Alab Pilipinas when they welcomed the team that gave them their first loss of the season. For the defending champions, revenge came in the form of a ruthless 85-47 beatdown of the Westports Malaysia Dragons, Friday night at the Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.
On paper, it should have been a much tougher match for Alab as the Dragons had all three imports in uniform. Westports Malaysia defeated the Philippine team with Winston Shepard sidelined. Top local Ray Parks was also not available for Alab but it did not matter as the home squad was focused with the task at hand.
PJ Ramos played one of his best games in the ABL as he was locked in from the first quarter to set the early tone for Alab. He scored 10 of his team’s first 14 points as they took a 21-13 lead in the first quarter.
The baskets came few and far between for the Dragons in the second period. Their three field goals were courtesy of Nnanna Egwu with a three at the 7-minute mark, Chris Eversley at the 5-minute mark, and Loh Shee Fai at the 1-minute mark to total a measly seven points in the period.
Alab held a commanding 37-20 lead at the half but they knew that the Dragons are capable of inching their way back into games like what they did against the Saigon Heat and Hong Kong Eastern in their last two games.
The home team refused to step off the gas pedal as they exploded for 30 points in the third led by Nico Javelona’s three triples to extend their advantage to a whopping 29 points entering the fourth to erase any hopes of a Westports Malaysia comeback.
Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag pulled out his imports in the fourth quarter as he allowed his bench to perform in front of their fans. In the end, all but two members of the defending champions scored led by the 25 points of Ramos. Renaldo Balkman had a relatively quiet game for his standards as he had 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Javelona was their only double-digit local scorer with 11 markers.
The struggles of Westports Malaysia were exemplified by the scoring of their imports as Shepard and Egwu combined for only 20 points on 7 of 37 shooting from the field. Eversley finished with 10 points but only took six attempts while the hero of their first meeting, Jonathan Wong, was limited to five markers.