RENALDO Balkman set a playoff scoring record with 46 points as San Miguel Alab Pilipinas won one on the road, beating Hong Kong Eastern, 98-94, in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) semifinals at the Southorn Stadium in Hong Kong.
Balkman was close to unstoppable on Wednesday as he surpassed the previous scoring record of 45 points made by Justin Howard of the Singapore Slingers in the 2015-2016 season.
With Balkman’s heroics, the third-seeded Alab side gets a chance to close out the defending champions when Game Two of the best-of-three semifinal series is played on Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
Balkman already had 33 points after three quarters as Alab took a 75-62 lead. He scored 13 straight points in one fiery stretch against a HK defense led by Christian Standhardinger to give the visitors a 94-88 lead.
Marcus Marshall of the Westports Malaysia Dragons set the all-time scoring record of 60 points in a double-overtime win over Mono Vampire in November 2017.
Tyler Lamb and Lee Ki tied the match at 94 with three-point baskets, but Balkman recovered a Pamboy Raymundo miss and made two free throws as Alab regained a 96-94 lead.
Hong Kong had a chance to take the lead but Lamb's three-point try rattled out. Brownlee was fouled and calmly hit two free throws to settle the score with 10 seconds left.
Balkman, who was recently pardoned by the PBA after being hit with a life ban in 2013, also had 14 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks to complete his record-breaking night.
Bobby Ray Parks added 23 points and 10 rebounds while Brownlee had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists for Alab Pilipinas, which wiped out an early 17-4 Hong Kong lead.
Lamb had 32 points in a gallant effort after returning in the fourth quarter following an injury. Marcus Elliott had 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists for a triple double while Standhardinger had 18 points and 15 rebounds for Eastern.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas 98 - Balkman 46, Parks 23, Brownlee 16, Domingo 6, Javelona 3, Raymundo 2, Hontiveros 2, Urbiztondo 0, Alabanza 0, Celiz 0.
Hong Kong Eastern 94 - Lamb 32, Elliott 22, Standhardinger 18, Lee 10, Moss 5, Lau 3, Tang 2, Xu 2.
Quarterscores: 14-25; 50-43; 75-62; 98-94.