SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas ended a two-game skid in record-breaking fashion, routing Saigon Heat, 126-100, on Wednesday night in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at the University of Southeastern Philippines gym in Davao City.
The hot-shooting Alab squad connected on a new league-record 18 triples as it seized control in the second quarter and never looked back on the way to its 12th win in 18 outings.
The 126 points Alab scored against Saigon was also a season-high, eclipsing the Heat’s 121 as the Filipinos bounced back after successive losses on the road to Westports Malaysia Dragons and Chong Son Kung Fu.
With the victory, Alab Pilipinas joined Mono Vampire Basketball Club in third place, one game behind second placer Chong Son Kung Fu (13-5).
The top two teams after the eliminations get outright spots in the Final Four.
Renaldo Balkman had 30 points and seven rebounds while Justin Brownlee went 6-of-7 from three-point land and finished with 24 points to go with 13 rebounds, and two blocks.
Brownlee, Paolo Javelona, and Dondon Hontiveros hit triples in a 16-2 run as Alab Pilipinas’ lead swelled to 47-30. By the third quarter, Alab was already up by 30 points, 101-71.
Alab Pilipinas wound up eclipsing the previous ABL record of 17 triples set by Hong Kong Eastern last year and matched by Mono Vampire this year.
Saigon fell to 9-9, but clinched the final berth in the playoffs after the Westports Malaysia Dragons (5-12) lost to the CLS Knights earlier in the night.
Alab cager Robby Celiz, however, was wheeled off the court in a stretcher during the third quarter after an awkward fall.
The locals also contributed for Alab with Bobby Ray Parks and Pamboy Raymundo scoring 13 points each and Paolo Javelona tallying 11 points.
Maxie Esho had 24 points while Fil-American Michael Williams had 19 points in his Philippine debut for the Heat.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas 126 - Balkman 30, Brownlee 24, Parks 13, Raymundo 13, Javelona 11, Sumalinog 7, Domingo 6, Hontiveros 6, Alabanza 5, Urbiztondo 5, Celiz 4, Maierhofer 2.
Saigon Heat 100 - Esho 24, Williams 19, Scott 15, Morgan 13, T. Nguyen 11, Arnold 7, H. Nguyen 5, N. Le 3, H. Nguyen 3, Q. To 0.
Quarterscores: 29-25: 68-50; 101-73: 126-100.