Josh Urbiztondo savors first finals appearance since his days with Ginebra, Macklin
Josh Urbiztondo was the hero for the Slingers in Game Two against Kiefer Ravena and the hometown Alab Pilipinas. Jaime Campos

BALIWAG, Bulacan — Josh Urbiztondo played a game to remember as he booked a first finals appearance in four years, albeit for a new team and a different league.

The 34-year-old Fil-Am guard finished with 20 points, five rebounds, six assists in leading the Singapore Slingers to an 82-64 win over Alab Pilipinas and a two-game sweep of their Asean Basketball League (ABL) semifinal series.

“I’m just glad to be back in the finals. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the finals,” said Urbiztondo, who last made it to a championship series in the 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup with a Ginebra team coached by Alfrancis Chua and reinforced by Vernon Macklin.

At this stage of his career, Urbiztondo, 34, said he appreciates these moments more.

“When you are in the finals, you have a tendency to think that you are (always) going to be there. The reality is you may never be there again. So you have to seize the opportunity and take advantage of the opportunity,” said Urbiztondo.

[See Alab season comes to sad end after Game 2 loss to Slingers]

In his finals stint in the ABL, Urbiztondo expressed confidence about the Slingers’ chances of winning the title regardless of who they face in the finals.

The Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions and the Saigon Heat are battling it out in the other semifinal pairing.

“I think we have a great chance. We don’t know if it’s Hong Kong or Saigon. Hopefully, it (HK-Saigon series) goes to a Game Three so we can get rest in our legs," said Urbiztondo, who also won a PBA championship with the Tim Cone-era B-Meg side (now Star).

"It’s more of focusing on us and what we are going to do. We need to play defense like that and play together,” he added.

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