The defending champions may be the last team to debut this season, but they made sure they started their quest for back-to-back titles with a loud and resounding statement.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas began their championship defense in convincing fashion, handling the CLS Knights Indonesia a 94-67 beating, Sunday at the Sta Rosa
Returning World Import Renaldo Balkman starred for the defending champions with a 33-point, 11-rebound performance. The 6-foot-8 big man was clicking all game long, seemingly one step ahead of his defenders. He also did a splendid job defensively and ended up with three steals and three blocks.
Alab Pilipinas opened the game guns blazing as they established a commanding 19-point advantage after two quarters. They kept their foot on the gas pedal in the second half and they led by as much as 31 points in the lopsided contest. The Philippines torched the net for a 48.1 shooting percentage and shared the wealth as exhibited by their 33 assists.
More than the offense, Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag praised the work of his team on the defensive end.
“I’m pleased with the effort especially defensively,” said Alapag. “CLS is a team that can score in bunches but right from the start of the game we
The Knights were limited to just 38.9 percent shooting from the field. Maxie Esho scored 20 points while Stephen Hurt added 18, but the visiting team failed to get into an offensive rhythm.
Alapag also noted that
“It was a concern,” the coach said as the Philippines played its opening game three weeks into the season. “You’re pretty much right into the bulk of the season, but credit our guys they’ve been working hard for the past few weeks.”
The 7-foot-3 Ramos immediately showed why he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas look to ride the momentum of their opening day win as they take on the Knights once again on Sunday, December 16, in Indonesia.