SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas again showed its tremendous resolve, surviving a historic night from Fil-Am guard Mikh McKinney to pull off a 101-96 comeback win over Macau Black Bears in the 2019 Asean Basketball League (ABL) on Friday night.
The defending champions clawed back from an 11-point first-half deficit as the trio of PJ Ramos, Renaldo Balkman, and Bobby Ray Parks righted the ship just in time and put to waste McKinney's 50-point night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Alab's hard fought win preserved its unbeaten home record at 12-0 and kept it atop the standings with an 18-4 win-loss record.
Balkman came to life after suffering a bloodied nose and posted a near-triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, one steal, and one block to lead the Filipinos back from a 36-25 deficit early in the second quarter.
Ramos tallied 29 points and 13 rebounds while Parks shook off his first half struggles and ignited Alab's third quarter run. He finished with 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Trailing 72-62 in the final 3:19 of the third period, Alab went on a 16-4 run to seize the lead, 78-76, entering the fourth quarter.
McKinney, who entered the elusive ABL 1,000-points club with his stellar performance, went 7-of-13 from distance for the visitors.
Alab scored the victory despite missing the services of forwards Caelan Tiongson (ankle) and Brandon Rosser (knee). The home side also lost Lawrence Domingo in the third quarter due to a knee injury.
After atoning for a 116-103 loss at Macau last Feb. 27 and gaining a 2-1 lead in their season series with the Black Bears, the Filipinos will fly to Taiwan to meet the Formosa Dreamers on Sunday.
Ryan Watkins provided support in the losing cause for the Black Bears with 25 points and 14 rebounds while Jenning Leung had 11 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Macau, which shot 15-of-38 from downtown, remained in fourth place with its 12-10 record.
SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 101 - Ramos 29, Balkman 26, Parks 22, Domingo 11, Javelona 6, Alvano 4, Urbiztondo 3, Alabanza 0, Sumalinog 0, Torres 0.
MACAU BLACK BEARS 96 - McKinney 50, Watkins 25, Leung 11, Tian 6, King 3, Lai 1, Yu 0, Liu 0.
Quarters: 25-31, 46-57, 78-76, 101-96.