ABL: Alab Pilipinas suffers another tough loss against Hong Kong Eastern

MANILA, Philippines - Almost but not quite. Tanduay Alab Pilipinas had a chance to score its first win of the season but fell short in the hands of Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger and the rest of Hong Kong Eastern Basketball team on Wednesday, December 13 at Changhua Stadium in Hong Kong.

Alab Pilipinas suffers another tough loss against Hong Kong Eastern
Fil-German Christian Standhardinger posted double-double in a win against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas. Photo Credit: ASEAN Basketball League

Hong Kong Eastern Basketball is currently enjoying the top spot of the standing with a perfect slate of 4-0 record while Tanduay Alab Pilipinas is hurting with 2 consecutive losses against Hong Kong in the opener and to Singapore just a week ago.

After 2 games, Alab Pilipinas had a perfect start with an 8-0 run led by Bobby Ray Parks and import Reggie Okosa with the support of another local, Roby Celis.

The game was too intense right from the start. Alab’s second import, Ivan Johnson was whistled for a Technical Foul after inadvertently hitting Ryan Moss in the head while jockeying for position while guard Josh Urbiztondo was also called for a technical for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Hong Kong’s Asian import, Tyler Lamb, initiated the comeback as the Thai-American unleashed treys and put his team behind by just 1. 11-10 at the 3:10 mark of the 1st quarter.

Tyler Lamb and Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger combined efforts to level up the score as the 1st period clock died down but it was Alab’s Ivan Johnson who closed the quarter with a buzzer-beater three pointer. 23-20 in favor of Philippines.

PBA Veteran, Dondon Hontiveros, made his ABL Milestone as he sank his first ever three point shot at the beginning of the second.

Alab world imports took charge mid of the 2nd quarter and successfully posted Philippines’ largest lead of 9, while Bobby Ray Parks extended it to 11, 42-31.

Consistent Eastern scorer Christian Standhardinger was simply unstoppable in the latter part of the 2nd period. The once Alab double-digit lead was abruptly downsized to 3, 46-43 at the end of the first half.

Despite the slim advantage, Alab’s three-point lead was way better compared to its last 2 games where the nationals trailed their opponents after 2 quarters and eventually lost.

Josh Urbiztondo lived up to his moniker “The Fireball” as the 6-foot guard waxed hot from the wing for a back-to-back triples as Philippines unfolded the the 2nd half. Aside from Urbiztondo’s outside sniping, offensive boards helped the Filipinos in widening their lead.

Hong Kong world import Marcus Elliot was a sleeper in the 1st half but came alive in the third aided by Tyler Lamb to trim Alab Pilipinas’ 10-point lead to just 1 with more than 3 minutes remaining in the penultimate quarter.

After 30 minutes of action-packed basketball, Philippines still led Hong Kong, 46-44.

Christian Standhardinger is well-known for his quick release under the basket shots. But in this game, he showed that he’s not only good in close-ranged shots but capable of draining three pointers too. Standhardinger made quick 3 treys as the final period started.

Standhardinger kept the energy flowing for Hong Kong. However, his co-imports got into foul trouble as they approached the 6-minute mark of the fourth. Both Elliot and Moss committed their 4th personal fouls that hinted Coach Edu Torres to bring them out and focus on his heritage imports.

Tyler Lamb’s highly-contested layup in the middle gave Hong Kong a 1-point, 89-88 lead with 3 more minutes remaining in the ballgame. Coach Jimmy Alapag called a timeout immediately but Alab’s bench was called for a technical foul. Marcus Elliot made the technical free throw to add a point more to Hong Kong’s lead.

Coach Edu Torres’ gamble to play his world imports in the dying minutes of the game paid off as his team escalated its margin to 8 with less than a minute left.

Bobby Ray Parks and Reggie Okosa managed to trim the lead to just 2 but Hong Kong hanged on tight to its lead and seal the deal with another home win, 99-96 and improved to 5-0. Tanduay Alab Pilipinas on the other hand, fell at the bottom of the standings with a 0-3 record.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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