San Miguel Alab Pilipinas made it two in a row, winning over the Singapore Slingers in overtime, 86-77 at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.
With both teams playing a grueling schedule of three games in six nights, it was a physical and mental battle for the entire duration of the game. However, it was Alab Pilipinas that would prove tougher down the stretch, as they bucked a disastrous third quarter to recover, and eventually win in the extra period.
Alab Pilipinas was led once again by Jason Brickman and Nick King, as the duo conspired in the clutch to fend off a relentless Slingers squad. Brickman tallied 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, while King had a team-high 20 points to go with 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
They got a lot of help from local player Jeremiah Gray, as he filled the box score with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists 3 steals and 2 blocks. Sam Deguara was also rocking solid for Alab despite struggling from the field, as he was able to gobble up 20 rebounds, to go along with 8 points.
The home team was in full control for the majority of the game, with the biggest lead coming at 16 points, via a Nick King layup at the 8-minute mark of the third quarter. But just when it seemed like Alab Pilipinas would easily overcome the Slingers, the opposite happened. Behind a brilliant shooting evening from Leon Kwek, and some timely hits from Marcus Elliott and Anthony McClain, the Slingers put together a 22-5 run to end the quarter and grab the lead entering the fourth period, 55-54.
The final period was a back and forth affair, as both teams traded more defensive stops than baskets in the low scoring affair. A layup from Brickman at the 2:33 mark gave Alab Pilipinas a two-point advantage, however, McClain was able to hit two clutch free throws which evened up the ballgame with 46 seconds remaining. Alab had time for one final attempt, but McClain was able to swat away a shot attempt from Deguara, sending the game into overtime.
Brickman would take over from then on. He outscored the entire Slingers team in overtime, notching 7 points compared to only 6 combined for his opponents. Alab Pilipinas would prove to have the better finishing kick, with King and Deguara also contributing to eventually help and put away Singapore.
The loss put to waste one of the best shooting nights of the season from Leon Kwek, as he almost went perfect from the field with 19 points on a staggering 7 of 8 from the field. To make the shooting night even more impressive, Kwek went 5 of 6 from three-point range.
On the other hand, teammate Marcus Elliott struggled from the field, as he went 7 for 26 from the field en route to 18 points. Xavier Alexander and Anthony McClain each had 11 points for the Slingers as well.
Alab Pilipinas climbs to second place in the standings with an 8-4 card. They won’t have a lot of time to rest, as they are set to host the Kuala Lumpur Dragons on Tuesday, February 4. The Slingers, on the other hand, see their two game-winning run snapped, as they fall to 5-6. They will take on the Taipei Fubon Braves on Sunday, February 9.