A DEPLETED Alab Pilipinas side leaned on its locals to put away a crucial 84-67 win over CLS Indonesia in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) on Wednesday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Heroes came aplenty for Alab but none bigger than Ray Parks and Lawrence Domingo who sparked a third-quarter rally after Renaldo Balkman went down with an ankle injury with 28 seconds left in the first half.
Parks and Domingo combined for 18 in the third period when Alab opened as many as a 24-point spread, much to the delight of a rabid crowd of over 2,000 fans at the newly built stadium.
Parks and Co. were so impressive that Alab had the luxury of resting Justin Brownlee roughly seven minutes into the fourth quarter.
"I'm just really really proud of the guys. I told then in the locker room countless times in the season how much I'm proud of them and tonight was one of the best examples of it," said Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag.
"Defensively we were active. We were communicating out there and we're just proud of the effort,' he added.
Alab improved to 13-6 (win-loss) and tied Mono Vampire for third place, right behind Chong Son Kung Fu and Hong Kong Lions which hold the top two spots on 14-5 and 12-5 records, respectively.
The top two teams at the end of the eliminations make it straight to the semifinals.
Parks topscored for Alab with 21 points and five rebounds as Brownlee added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Domingo hauled down 12 rebounds to go along with seven points.
Oping Sumalinog, Pao Javelona and JR Alabanza also stepped up for a San Miguel-backed squad that missed the services of local standouts Josh Urbiztondo and Robbie Celiz.
Balkman looked to have stepped on his defenders' foot near the end of the second half. He never returned in the game but still finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Former GlobalPort import Brian Williams finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds as former Alaska import Shane Edwards added 17 for the Indonesian side.
Alab Pilipinas 84 - Parks 21, Brownlee 15, Balkman 12, Sumalinog 7, Domingo 7, Raymundo 6, Javelona 6, Hontiveros 6, Alabanza 4, Maierhoffer 0
CLS Indonesia 67 - Williams 19, Edwards 17, Hidayat 8, Nugroho 6, Jensen 6, Utomo 4, Gemilang 3, Lish 2, Baskoro 2, Ardiansyah 0, Wisnu 0
Quarterscores: 24-12, 44-33, 71-49, 84-67