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    Alab title defense meets sad, abrupt end after lopsided loss to HK

    Apr 3, 2019
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas' title-retention bid came to a sad, abrupt end after falling to Hong Kong Eastern, 102-84, in the 2019 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) playoffs on Wednesday at Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai.

    The defending champions were unable to sustain their hot start, losing an early 18-6 advantage as the hosts, behind O'Darien Bassett, stormed back and went on a 16-1 blast to grab the lead for good, 22-19.

    Hong Kong Eastern never eased up on the gas pedal from there to post a 56-37 halftime edge and a 76-51 third-quarter bubble on the way to an unlikely sweep of No. 2 seed Alab in their best-of-three quarterfinal.

    Bassett proved to be the biggest thorn in the side of Alab, dropping 28 points, 15 assists, five rebounds, and three steals. Marcus Elliott led his side with 29 points, eight boards, and three dimes as Lee Ki added 18 points on a perfect 3-of-3 clip from downtown.

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    Lau Taz Lai chipped in 12 built on four treys, as Michael Holyfield tallied a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds as Hong Kong Eastern reached the semifinals for the third successive year.

    PJ Ramos carried the fight for Filipinos with 21 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists while two-time ABL Local MVP Bobby Ray Parks got 19 points, five boards, and two assists in the losing effort.

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    Renaldo Balkman added 16 points, 11 rebounds, and six dimes as Alab exited the season on a six-game losing slide.

    The scores:

    HONG KONG EASTERN 102 - Elliott 29, Bassett 28, Lee 18, Lau 12, Holyfield 11, SW Chan 3, Chung 1, Siu 0, Xu 0, Yang 0, YL Chan 0.

    SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 84 - Ramos 21, Parks 19, Balkman 16, Urbiztondo 11, Rosser 9, Tiongson 3, Javelona 3, Alvano 2, Sumalinog 0, Alabanza 0, Torres 0.

    Quarters: 25-23, 56-37, 79-57, 102-84.

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    PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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