The defending champions San Miguel Alab Pilipinas continue their red hot winning streak, outlasting Hong Kong Eastern 96-81 inside the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Once again, the duo of World Imports PJ Ramos and Renaldo Balkman proved to be an unstoppable combination against the home squad, as they ran roughshod over the home team down the stretch. Balkman powered San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, as he scattered a game high 32 points on 14/20 shooting, along with 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks.
Ramos on the other hand flirted with a triple double, tallying 11 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Ramos showed his ability to create for himself and his teammates, as he put the ball on the floor despite his frame, and threw several full court passes that were absolutely on the mark.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas broke open what was a tight game entering the fourth period. The visiting squad held Hong Kong Eastern to only one field goal for the first six minutes of the period, while stringing together a 10-3 run in that stretch. A layup by O’Darien Bassett stopped the bleeding, trimming the deficit to 7 points with 3:57 remaining in the quarter. However San Miguel Alab Pilipinas finished the game on a 13-5 run, limiting Hong Kong Eastern to only 10 points in the fourth quarter, while they scored 23 to pull away for the convincing win.
The victory is the defending champs’ third straight against Hong Kong, For three quarters, this was the tightest ballgame, as the duo of Sam Deguara and Bassett kept their team within striking. However when it was winning time, they were unable to elevate their squad to the victory.
Bassett tallied 24 points on 7/18 shooting, to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Deguara held his own against the defense of Ramos in a rematch of titans, finishing with a double-double performance of 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Key for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas’ victory was the splendid play of the reigning local MVP Ray Parks. Fresh from breaking the 1,000 point barrier in the ABL, Parks showed that he’s ready to scale new heights with his 23 points on a sparkling 9/12 clip highlighted by 5 made triples.
The victory is San Miguel Alab Pilipinas’ seventh straight win, keeping them locked into the first seed with a 13-2 card. Hong Kong Eastern fails to continue it’s winning ways, dropping to fifth in the standings with a 11-9 card.