ALAB Pilipinas snapped its three-game losing skid on Sunday night, coming away with a vengeful 82-75 win over league-leader Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions on Sunday night at the USEP gym in Davao City.
Sampson Carter had 20 points while Robby Celiz led the locals with 17 points as Alab avenged two successive losses to the Hong Kong side and secured third place entering the playoffs.
With a 10-9 (win-loss) record, Alab is set to face the Singapore Slingers in the semifinals instead of the league-leading Long Lions who continued to lead the field with a 15-4 card despite the loss.
Celiz had 13 points in the first half alone to keep Hong Kong within sight long enough for Alab to catch fire in the second half, where the Filipinos outscored the Long Lions, 44-32.
Alab also showed composure in the end game after Hong Kong wrested the lead, 71-70, as Carter combined with fellow import James Hughes, Celiz, and Paolo Hubalde in the team's 12-4 finishing kick.
Hughes added 17 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks for Alab, which also got eight points from Bobby Ray Parks, Jr.
Marcus Elliott had 22 points for Hong Kong Eastern, which rested former NBA player and San Miguel Beermen import Josh Boone for the second straight game.
Alab looks to close out the regular season with a bang next week against the Kaohsiung Truth.
Alab Pilipinas (82) - Carter 20, Celiz 17, Hughes 17, Parks 8, Acuna 6, Cawaling 4, Hubalde 3, Fortuna 3, Domingo 2, Mendoza 2.
Hong Kong Eastern (75) - Elliot 22, Lamb 19, Lee 12, Chan 8, Fong 6, Guinchard 6, Wu 2, Lau 0, Tang 0.
Quarterscores: 23-25, 38-43, 55-54, 82-75.