San Miguel Alab Pilipinas and Hong Kong Eastern conclude their season series this Wednesday in Hong Kong. They meet for the fourth and final time in the regular season.
The defending champions continue to pace the rest of the field with their league-leading 13-2 record. They’ve won seven straight games and showed no signs of slowing down. Eastern are currently in fifth place with an 11-9 card.
The Philippines has won all previous three meetings against Hong Kong, including a 96-81 win in Southorn Stadium last Friday. Renaldo Balkman powered his way to 32 points on 14-for-20 shots while PJ Ramos flirted with a triple-double, collecting 11 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists.
The game was a seesaw battle up until the fourth period when Alab Pilipinas shut down their opponent to just 10 points. They held the home team to a single field goal in the first six minutes of the quarter. Eastern could not recover as they surrendered a 13-5 run to close the game.
O’Darien Bassett led Hong Kong with 24 points in a losing effort while big man Sam Deguara provided 20 points and 16 boards. The missing piece for Eastern was Marcus Elliott. Even though the former World Import MVP put up 18 points, he only shot 6-for-23. He was hounded by Alab’s stingy defender Caelan Tiongson for most of the night and could not get a rhythm offensively.
Aside from the gigantic matchup between Ramos and Deguara, Tiongson going up against Elliott proves to be just as critical. The Fil-American Tiongson is not a scorer but he is on the floor for the main purpose of trying to slow down the opposition’s top gun. If Hong Kong wants to get a win against the defending champs, it needs a big game from Elliott.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas have dominated their matchup against Hong Kong Eastern all season long. Can the defending champions get another victory at Hong Kong’s expense and make it eight wins in a row or will the home team finally get revenge?