SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas stayed hot on Sunday, routing the Saigon Heat, 110-100, at the start of their quarterfinal playoff in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Ray Parks and Lawrence Domingo joined forces with Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman as Alab sustained its momentum from a fiery end to the regular season and won the first playoff match in the franchise' two-year history.
Alab, which was swept by the Singapore Slingers in last season's playoffs, can set up a semifinal match-up with second-seed Hong Kong Eastern in Game Two of the best-of-three series which Saigon will host on Saturday at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City.
Parks had 24 points while Brownlee had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Alab. Domingo had 18 points while Balkman also had a double-double of 17 points and 20 rebounds for the hosts.
Alab also got tremendous help from its bench, which outscored its Saigon counterparts, 36-3, with Domingo leading the charge.
A deuce by Balkman and a triple by Parks brought Alab’s lead to 10, 57-47, at the half. Alab led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter.
Alab's lead reached a high of 97-75 in the fourth.
Alab's win spoiled a career game from Saigon import Maxie Esho, who had 42 points and 11 rebounds. Fil-American Michael Williams and Akeem Scott each had 19 points for Saigon.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas 110–Parks 24, Brownlee 22, Domingo 18, Balkman 17, Hontiveros 8, Raymundo 7, Sumalinog 6, Javelona 5, Celiz 3.
Saigon Heat 100–Esho 42, Williams 19, Scott 19, Morgan 16, T. Nguyen 3, Arnold 1.
Quarterscores: 30-24; 57-47; 90-72; 110-100.