A new team now sits on top of the ASEAN Basketball League standings.
The Formosa Dreamers have risen to the number one spot after handing the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas its lone home loss of the season with a decisive 88-74 win in front of a stunned crowd at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Laguna, Philippines.
It was the trio of Malcolm Miller, Tevin Glass, and Will Artino who delivered once again for the Taiwanese team. The big three combined for 73 points with Miller leading the way with his all-around performance of 27 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
“Every game is tough, no matter who’s playing the games are always tough,” Formosa head coach Dean Murray said. “And Alab, give them credit, they endured some injuries but we know it’s always gonna be a tough game with them. They play so hard so it really doesn’t matter who’s on the floor. But we’re really happy to get the win tonight.”
The defending champions were without Renaldo Balkman who missed his third straight game. Lawrence Domingo and Brandon Rosser were also out due to injuries.
The Dreamers took control off the ball game in the second and third periods when they outscored Alab Pilipinas, 43-27. They shot an efficient 47 percent from the field while limiting their opponent to just 39 percent. They also forced 19 turnovers which they converted to 24 points.
With the game practically decided, emotions flared in the last two and a half minutes of the game after Miller corralled a rebound. Josh Urbiztondo and Caelan Tiongson were in a heated exchange with Miller and PJ Ramos got into the mix soon after. Tiongson and Miller were both issued with disqualifying fouls, forcing them to leave the playing court.
Ray Parks provided 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for Alab, who’ve lost their last three games. Ramos, the lone World Import for the Philippines, tallied 22 points and nine rebounds but was responsible for nine turnovers.
The Dreamers meanwhile have won eight straight contests and have a chance to secure the top seed if they win at least one of their remaining games.
“Everybody from day one has worked hard. We had some players from last year but really the team is just a new fresh team,” shared Murray as the Dreamers finished last a season ago. “Like I told a lot of people, I didn’t ask about last season, I didn’t want to know about last season, we just wanted to start out fresh and make our own name.”
The Dreamers will close out their regular season against the Wolf Warriors on the 20th followed by the Westports Malaysia Dragons on the 24th.
“It’ll mean a lot for our team especially after the season we had last year,” Murray said if the Dreamers can claim the first seed. “But the most important thing about here is if we can keep advancing, we’ll get home court in the playoffs.”