Even if they were without big man PJ Ramos for the second time this week, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas was still too much for the Wolf Warriors as the defending champions swept the season series 4-0 against the ABL newcomers and stayed undefeated at home with a 108-81 victory, Sunday night at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.
In their last game without the hulking Ramos inside, Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag started with substitute center JR Alabanza. However, without a threat like Sam Deguara to deal with, Alapag was able to employ a more stacked starting unit as Lawrence Domingo slid into the first five from his usual role as their first forward off the bench.
Alab went on a strong start as Domingo relished his new role with eight points in the first quarter to help his team get an early double-digit lead, 28-18. As always, the Philippine team needed only one big run to break the game wide open against the Wolf Warriors and this time it came in the second quarter because of their red-hot three-point shooting.
Brandon Rosser, Pao Javelona, Renaldo Balkman, and Josh Urbiztondo all sank triples in the first two and a half minutes of the second period but it was Caelan Tiongson who led the breakaway as he went 4 of 4 from deep in the period to extend their lead to as much as 24 points.
There was no let-up from Alab in the third period as Domingo scored a basket at the 5:37 mark to give them their biggest lead at 34 points, 79-45. They finally lifted their foot off the gas pedal in the fourth with another dominant win already in the bag.
The balance of the Philippine team was in full display as they had five players in double digits led by Balkman’s 20 points. They had a massive 41 to 17 edge in bench points led by Rosser’s 16 markers.
What was more impressive for was the sheer number of assists as they had 34, which is very high even for a 48-minute game.
The Wolf Warriors were led by Cai Chen with 32 points in the game, rebounding for his poor performance in their last contest against Alab. Cory Bradford has 23 points while Mike Bell added 11 off the bench but the Wolf Warriors did not get much from Shawntez Patterson with only five points on 2 of 10 shooting from the field even though he did not have Ramos to deal with.