ABL: Alab Pilipinas’ winning streak is over, falls to Singapore Slingers at home

MANILA, Philippines - Tanduay Alab Pilipinas failed to defend the house as the visiting Singapore Slingers defeated the nationals, 90-80, in the ASEAN Baketball League (ABL) on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at the San Juan Flying V Arena.

Xavier “X-Man” Alexander led Singapore Slingers in win over Alab Pilipinas
Xavier “X-Man” Alexander led Singapore Slingers in win over Alab Pilipinas to and Filipinos’ 3-game winning streak. Photo Credit: Asean Basketball League

For the 2nd time in less than a week, the Tanduay Alab Pilipinas faced Singapore Slingers in its home turf and welcomed the latter with an immaculate defensive stops and offensive assault.

Slinger and big man Chris Charles got into foul trouble too early and gave opportunities for Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Justin Brownlee to relentlessly attack the basket to take a 10-2 lead.

Just like Chris Charles, Alab players Justin Brownlee and Robi Celis committed 2 personal fouls each. Brownlee however, continued to play but limited himself on the defensive end to avoid getting another foul that resulted to an 8-0 Slinger-run and for the deadlock.

Renaldo Balkman hit a trey together with 2 back-to-back blocks to break the tie and led Alab in its own scoring run. Philippines recovered and ended the 1st quarter with a 19-12 lead.

Alab Pilipinas slowed down from scoring at the start of the 2nd quarter. The Slingers on the other hand, erupted spearheaded by Fil-Canadian AJ Mandani and snatched the lead from Alab, 26-21. Coach Jimmy Alapag promptly called a halt to make some adjustment in the defense department.

Right after the timeout, Josh Urbiztondo responded with a ringless triple followed by a floater from Renaldo Balkman to level the game. Balkman was the first Alab player who got into double-figures with over 6 minutes remaining in the half.

AJ Mandani and Xavier Alexander became real problems for Coach Alapag. Mandani owned the rainbow country while his import dominated the shaded lane to end the 1st half, 42-28 in favor of Singapore Slingers.

Good 2nd half start for Alab Pilipinas as the nationals grabbed the lead from the Slingers. Philippines’ lead was just momentarily as Singapore, courtesy of Fil-Canadian AJ Manday fired another long bomb and regained the advantage.

Both squads traded baskets in the closing phase of the third. However, it was Singapore which had the lead. Justin Brownlee’s presence was missing in the 3rd quarter. Brownlee only tallied 6 points in the said quarter.

Seldomly used Rico Meierhoffer exerted some valuable efforts to save Alab in the 3rd period. The veteran center provided 6 points in 2 minutes and grabbed a handful of crucial boards to level the score at 64-all at the end of the penultimate quarter.

Singapore blitzed a 6-0 run as the final quarter was unfolded. Philippines was slowly feeling the hefty presence of 7-footer Chris Charles in the middle as the American import clogged it to prevent the Filipinos from driving through.

AJ Mandani continued to sizzle hot from the outside and helped his team posted their biggest lead of 9, 75-66 with 5:43 remaining in the ballgame.

Alab Pilipinas got double-whammied as Coach Jimmy Alapag was whistled for a technical foul for continuous complaining. Coach Alapag lamented for 2 non-crucial calls on Xavier Alexander as the Slinger committed a travelling infraction and made a basket after it even though the clock had expired. Both violations were uncalled that prompted the crowd to yell “Luto, luto.”

AJ Mandani placed the nail on the coffin with another triple for the dozen lead, 88-76. Slingers held on to the lead right until the final horn sounded and will go home victorious, 90-80.

Tanduay Alab Pilipinas will travel to Bangkok Thailand to face Mono Vampires on Sunday, January 14.

— The Summit Express

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