San Miguel Alab Pilipinas remains perfect at home as they overcame an explosion from Mikh McKinney to hang on to a 101-96 victory against the Macau Black Bears, Friday night at the Filoil Flying V Center.
With the win, Alab is now 12-0 at home with their regular season game in the Philippines scheduled for March 17 against the Formosa Dreamers.
It was an impressive showing from the home team led by their imports as PJ Ramos came up with a monster double-double with 29 points and 13 rebounds while Renaldo Balkman fell a little short of a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. These two were aided by Ray Parks’ 22 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field while Lawrence Domingo continues to perform well as a starter with 11 points, due to the injury of Caelan Tiongson.
However, in terms of individual numbers, it was the Filipino-American guard McKinney who impressed the most as he dropped 50 points on Alab alongside nine rebounds and seven assists. He had no other choice but to take 29 shot attempts in the contest as it was the only way that the Macau Black Bears can stay within striking distance of Alab without Anthony Tucker in their roster.
McKinney has been on an unbelievable tear in Macau’s last eight games with a couple of 40-point performances but he elevated his game even more against the defending champions.
It could have been the perfect chance for the Black Bears to climb to the fourth spot in the standings and dislodge the Saigon Heat. Macau knew this was the prize at stake and they performed accordingly in the first half as they led by as much as 11 points against Alab.
However, as it has been the theme in their past few games, one quarter of fiery offense is usually enough for Alab to secure a win. In this game against Macau, it happened in the third quarter where they outscored the Black Bears 32-19.
McKinney tried his best to lead the fight for Macau in the final quarter but Alab got key baskets from Balkman and Ramos to hang on to the victory.
Ryan Watkins played all 40 minutes alongside McKinney and the big man finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds. They got some help from Jenning Leung who scored 11 but they did not defend as well as they did in their Wednesday victory against the Westports Malaysia Dragons.
The defending champions will now fly to Taiwan to take on the Formosa Dreamers on Sunday while Macau heads back home to face off against the playoff-chasing Mono Vampire on Wednesday.