WITH injuries plaguing Alab Pilipinas, forward Lawrence Domingo was the next man up for coach Jimmy Alapag, and he made sure not to disappoint.
Domingo starred in a blistering third quarter rally as Alab Pilipinas kept alive its bid for an outright semis spot in the Asean Basketball League with victory over the CLS Indonesia Knights on Wednesday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Already without forward Robby Celiz, the San Miguel-backed squad was dealt an even bigger blow when Renaldo Balkman went down with an ankle sprain with 28 seconds left in the first half.
But Domingo stepped up and scored all of his seven points in the third period, while being a force underneath to challenge CLS imports Shane Edwards and Brian Williams.
“You know this year, really what I had to pay focus to is whatever I needed to do to help the team win. Whether it be rebounding or defending whoever coach wants me to defends, stepping up when a guy goes down,” said Domingo who also finished with a team-best 12 rebounds.
“The coaches have been big in letting me know, they say ‘this the games where you need to step up,’ and I thrive in those situations and it just makes me happy to know that whatever I’m doing, rebounding, scoring or defending, it helps my team win,” he added.
“You know, I can go out there and have zero points, but as long as I have the stops and the rebounds and I help my team win, that’s all that matters."
With a 13-6 record and still a game to play, a three-way tie for the second spot between Chong Son Kung Fu (14-5) and Mono Vampire (14-6) would be the most ideal situation for Alab, especially after having the best win-over-the-other standing among the squads.
Alab faces CLS again on Sunday and with Balkman still uncertain to play, Domingo is already preparing himself for the must win game.
“Balkman he was a big factor on our team defensively and offensively so you know I have to step up on both ends of the floor. But you know, whatever coach’s gameplan is, that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna play as hard as I can like I always do and I’ll play for the team and the fans.”