Despite being undermanned, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas had little trouble getting past the Saigon Heat as they came away with a dominant 99-79 victory Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Laguna, Philippines.
Sam Deguara returned to form, dropping 23 points on an efficient 9-for-10 shooting from the field. He also added eight rebounds in a bounce-back performance after a subpar outing against the Kuala Lumpur Dragons. Nick King, meanwhile, continued his strong showing as he nearly had a triple-double with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists.
World Import Justin Brownlee, who was activated by Alab earlier this week, missed his second straight game and has yet to make his season debut. The Philippine squad also missed the services of Jeremiah Gray and Andrei Caracut, who were both nursing injuries from their game against the Dragons.
Fortunately for Alab, Deguara and King led the rout against the struggling Heat. The home team unloaded 31 points in the second quarter, giving them a 56-36 edge after two quarters. A layup from King during the tail end of the third allowed Alab to enjoy its biggest lead at 24 points, 72-48. And unlike the previous meeting between the two teams, the Heat failed to put up a late rally to threaten Alab.
Sam Thompson gave a herculean effort as he finished with a personal-best 36 points, surpassing his previous high of 32 also against Alab. Thompson, unfortunately, had little help from Saigon’s two other reinforcements. Tyshawn Taylor dished out 13 assists but only had seven points while Malcolm White mustered just 13 points. Khoa Tran added 18 points off the bench.
The Philippines also received a wealth of production from its locals. Veteran Lawrence Domingo had a season-high 18 points to go along with six rebounds and two blocks while Jason Brickman set the table for his squad with 10 points and nine dimes. Off the bench, Louie Vigil and Brandon Rosser chipped in with eight points apiece.
Alab Pilipinas improves to 10-6 on the season while the Heat continues to slide at 3-11, losing six of their last seven games. The two meet again next Sunday, March 1, at the CIS Arena in Vietnam.