ABL: Singapore Slingers hand Alab Pilipinas its 2nd straight loss


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MANILA, Philippines - Nothing will be more painful than losing a game in front of the home crowd. Tanduay Alab Pilipinas hit the rock bottom of the standings in the 2017 ASEAN Basketball League after losing anew, this time, against visiting Singapore Slingers, 97-83 on Wednesday, November 29 in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.

Singapore Slingers hand Alab Pilipinas its 2nd straight loss
Super import Xavier Alexander showed no mercy to Alab Pilipinas and the home crowd. Photo Credit: tnp.sg

If there’s one thing in every Alab Pilipinas player’s mind, that would be: not to lose a back-to-back games in the home turf. But sadly, lightning struck the Philippine ABL team twice tonight.

Both teams started the game slow. But it was Singapore Slingers who went ahead of the game with a 7-2 lead with over 6 minutes left in the opening period. World imports Ivan Johnson and Reggie Okosa teamed-up to level the score with 9-apiece at the 3:12 mark of the opener.

Ex-TNT reinforcement, Ivan Johnson, fell hard on the floor as he fought for a rebound against counterpart Xavier Alexander. Johnson stood-up but was obviously in pain. He was sent to the bench for further examination and was replaced by heritage import Lawrence Domingo.

Aside from Xavier Alexander, local Slingers star Delvin Goh lifted up the team to secure the lead after the first 10 minutes of the game. 23-15 in favor of Singapore.

Philippines was held scoreless for the first 2 minutes of the 2nd period. Lawrence Domingo broke the scoring drought with a driving layup. On the other hand, second Slingers world import, Ryan Wright, did significant damage to Alab and escalated the lead to 15.

Oping Sumalinog and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. both sank triples as soon as they stepped on the floor to cut Singapore’s lead to a single-digit. But Slinger heritage import and Filipino-Canadian, AJ Mandani, answered back with his own version of back-to-back three pointers to place his team’s advantage back to 14.

Just like its previous game against Hong Kong, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas still can’t find its rhythm after the 1st half. Singapore Slingers led by a dozen, 50-38.

Alab had a terrific run in the early phase of the third. But the problem was, Slingers did a spectacular 3rd quarter as well. Xavier Alexander and Ryan Wright continued to punish Alab in the shaded lane that prolonged the Slingers’ lead.

It was a three point shootout between Alab’s Josh Urbiztondo and Slingers’ Ng Hanbin come midway of the 3rd period. Philippines managed to lower the lead to just 8, 68-60.

Philippines leaned on its transition offense to finally break the barriers and started to show what it’s capable of. Ivan Johnson who had 7 points in the 1st half came back aggressively in the third and led Alab’s onslaught until the quarter buzzer sounded. Philippines slashed Singapore’s lead to just 3, 74-71.

Singapore welcomed Philippines at the start of the final period with a 12-0 run and ballooned its lead to 15 once again.

Slingers posted its biggest lead of 18 points, 91-73 with 5:31 left in the ballgame. Nothing was going right for Alab. Even the close-range shot were not going in. In contrary, Singapore got too lucky in all angles of the floor.

Slingers imports: Alexander, Wright and Mandani tormented Alab Pilipinas until the end of the game while locals Goh and Hanbin chipped in valuable numbers to give Philippines its back-to-back losses.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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