The top two teams of the ASEAN Basketball League go head-to-head this Sunday in Taiwan as the Formosa Dreamers take on the visiting San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
The defending champions hold first place in the team standings, boasting an 18-4 record. The Dreamers meanwhile are right behind with a 16-6 card and have won their last six games.
Alab Pilipinas are coming off an impressive win over the Macau Black Bears where they overcame a 50-point explosion from Mikh McKinney. The Black Bears were still missing one World Import due to the injury of Anthony Tucker and McKinney has taken it upon himself to take on the scoring load. Against the Philippines, the Filipino-American guard lit up the scoreboard but was met by a roadblock in the form of PJ Ramos and Renaldo Balkman. Balkman dominated the shaded area for 29 points and 13 rebounds while Balkman posted 26 points, 11 boards, and eight assists.
As Alab Pilipinas remain as formidable as ever, the same could be said about the red hot Dreamers. They’re fresh off a 97-78 demolition job over the Wolf Warriors in their last contest. Will Artino played spectacularly all night long putting up 30 points on 14-of-21 shooting, 14 rebounds, and four assists. On the defensive end, he provided three steals and two rejections. The 6-foot-11 center is putting up 20.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists for the season.
The Dreamers’ big three of Artino, Tevin Glass, and Malcolm Miller will be put to the test against Alab’s Ramos, Balkman, and the ever-reliable locals of the Philippines. Should the World Imports cancel each other out, the defending champions still have the upper hand with two-time Local MVP Ray Parks who has been shooting well from the field this season. He is currently shooting a career-high 52 percent from the field. He has been picking his spots on offense this year and it’s brought success for Alab. Against Macau, he tallied 22 points on a 70 percent shooting clip, alongside five rebounds and five assists.
The league-leaders square off this Sunday. Can the Dreamers defend home court or will Alab Pilipinas show their dominance in Taiwan?