ALAB Pilipinas leaned on a balanced attack to beat reigning champion Westports Malaysia Dragons, 65-54, on Sunday in the Asean Basketball League at the House of Champions, Gem-in Mall in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.
JR Cawaling pulled off his first breakthrough game of the season as he led Alab in scoring with 11 points, none bigger than a three-pointer late in the game to seal the Philippine side's third straight victory.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. had a near double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds for Alab, which raised its record to 5-2 and gained a share of second place in the team standings.
Hong Kong Eastern lost to Singapore, 82-72, later in the day at the OCBC Arena as Long Lions dropped to a tie for second place with the Philippine side.
The Slingers, who lost to Alab last Friday, regained the top spot in the standings with an 8-2 win-loss record.
The Philippine-based squad pulled away for good by closing the third quarter with a critical 7-1 run, the last five points coming from Paolo Hubalde.
As a result, Alab entered the final canto with a 51-41 advantage and never allowed the Dragons to come close enough to threaten.
The Dragons fell to 1-5.
On Saturday, Alab Pilipinas plays another road game when it takes on Hong Kong for the first time this season.
Alab Pilipinas (65) — Cawaling 11, Parks 9, Carter 9, Acuna 6, Hughes 6, Thiele 6, Hubalde 5, Domingo 5, Fortuna 4, Celiz 4, Knuttel 0.
Malaysia Dragons (54) — Melvin 15, Spencer 11, Yeo 9, Loh 7, Goldstein 6, Ting 4, Teo 2, Ma 0.
Quarterscores: 16-18, 32-28, 51-41, 65-54.