ALAB Pilipinas looks to stop the bleeding when it takes on league-leading Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions again in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) on Sunday at the University of Southern Philippines (USEP) Gym in Davao City.
The ABL's lone Philippine-based team has lost its past three games - including the last two to the HK side - to slip to 9-9 (win-loss), in danger of losing its grip on third place entering the playoffs.
The 8 p.m. game is nothing short of a must-win, therefore, for Alab if it hopes to go to the playoffs in a form good enough to contend for a maiden championship.
As it is, Alab only holds a one-and-a-half game lead over fourth-running Saigon (7-10).
To get back on track, Alab must solve a giant puzzle that is Hong Kong, which beat the Filipinos soundly in their past two meetings counting an 83-61 decision last week that saw Mac Cuan rip at his team's half-hearted effort.
If there's any good news for Alab over the past week, it was Hong Kong's loss to Saigon in midweek in a game that former San Miguel import Josh Boone sat out.
It is unclear if Boone will rejoin HK (15-3) in time for the Alab game.
But even without Boone, HK still looks formidable under the leadership of Thai-American import Tyler Lamb, who scored 24 points against Alab to extend the Long Lions' win streak to 10.