San Miguel Alab Pilipinas emerged victorious on the road, defeating the Singapore Slingers 80-70 in the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Led anew by World Import Renaldo Balkman, the defending champions bounced back after a listless defeat at the hands of the Black Bears to return to the win column via an unforgiving defense that limited the Slingers to below 35% from the field. Making things even more difficult for the Slingers was the team only made one triple in the entire contest, as they shot 1/13 from beyond the arc, good for 7% shooting.
Balkman paced Alab with 28 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and one block. He helped his squad pull away from what was a tight contest at the half, as the Slingers were only down by two points, 35-33. In the final 4 minutes of the third quarter, Alab went on a 13-3 run that gave them a double digit advantage heading into the final frame, 69-58.
The Slingers have made comebacks in the past, however curiously both teams shot blanks in the fourth period. But with Alab holding on to the lead, it didn’t matter as much that their offense sputtered, because they were able to hold the Slingers to only 10 points in the fourth period. Two free throws in the final five seconds of the match brought the Slingers to double digits in scoring, as they saw their losing streak snapped.
PJ Ramos beasted for Alab with a double-double performance of 22 points and 17 rebounds. He also protected the rim with 4 blocks, helping to limit the Slingers’ John Fields impact on the game. Lawrence Domingo started for their squad, and also had a solid game with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Reigning local MVP Ray Parks had an all-around performance with 6 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Slingers were led by Fields’ team high 21 points on 7/19 shooting, to go along with 7 rebounds and 1 block. Xavier Alexander tallied 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 steals, but he too struggled from the field in a 6/20 shooting game.
Jerran Young contributed 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists for the Slingers, while Delvin Goh chipped in 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas remains on top of the standings with a 17-4 card. The Singapore Slingers see their 4 game winning streak snapped, but are still in 3rd place with a 13-8 slate.