The battle between the league’s top heavyweights was anybody’s ball game until a late surge by the defending champions made all the difference.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas notched their third straight victory after outgunning the Formosa Dreamers, 86-72, Sunday night at the Sta. Rosa Multi Purpose Complex in Laguna. The Philippines unloaded a game-changing 21-3 run in the last six and a half minutes to which the Taiwan team had no answer.
Renaldo Balkman scored 19 points and was a monster with 20 rebounds. PJ Ramos added 16 points and seven boards. Ray Parks meanwhile chipped in with 13 points.
Alab was down by four points, 65-69, after Malcom Miller hit a pair of free throws. The game was set to go down the wire but the defending champions had other plans. The Philippine squad was relentless attacking the basket while displaying unforgiving defense on the other end.
A basket by Ethan Alvano kickstarted the decisive scoring run and different Alab players took turns in dismantling the Formosa defense. Ramos hit a jumper that made it 78-69 with 2:35 to play. Even as Tevin Glass finally stopped the bleeding with a shot of his own, it was a little too late for the visiting squad. Glass’ basket was the Dreamers’ lone field goal in the last six minutes. Caelan Tiongson put the finishing touches with a layup that saw the Philippine lead balloon to 12 points, 84-72, with under a minute remaining.
The home team also got significant contributions from the bench. Paolo Javelona found his shot from the outside to finish with 11 points, including two triples, to go along with three assists in 16 minutes of action. Lo Domingo, Josh Urbiztondo, and Brandon Rosser combined for 17 points.
For the Dreamers, Miller led the way with 23 points but he was only 7-for-22 from the field. Will Artino and Tevin Glass scored 14 points apiece but they were a combined 10-for-32.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas lead the league with a perfect 3-0 record. They go for their fourth consecutive win when they take on the Singapore Slingers this Sunday, December 23. As for the Formosa Dreamers who have lost back-to-back after winning their first six contests, they look to regroup before they play the CLS Knights on January 5.