PJ RAMOS was simply unstoppable for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, steering the defending champions to a gritty 80-70 victory over the Singapore Slingers on Sunday afternoon at OCBC Arena in Singapore.
The 7-foot-3 Puerto Rican commanded the Philippine side's killer third quarter assault, scoring nine of his 22 points in a 15-4 run that turned a close 52-51 to a decisive 67-55 lead.
Ramos added 17 rebounds, four blocks and three assists that kept Alab on top of the standings with a 17-4 win-loss record and prevented them from losing back-to-back games this season.
Renaldo Balkman also was dominant in the game, dropping 28 points, eight rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block, while also quashing the Slingers' upset aspirations with a dagger triple from the top of the arc that made it an 80-68 affair in the final 50.9 seconds.
Lawrence Domingo chipped in 12 points, five boards and two assists, stepping up for the foul-plagued Bobby Ray Parks, who settled for six points, seven rebounds and four dimes in the win.
Alab held on despite losing the battle of the offensive boards, with Singapore taking it 17 to nine, while also giving the home team 31 freebies. Luckily, the Slingers only converted 19 of those.
Caelan Tiongson missed the trip due to a sprained ankle, while Brandon Rosser had to exit the game at the 8:44 mark of the second quarter after hurting his right knee.
Alab swept the season series, winning the first matchup, 77-71 last Dec. 23 at Caloocan Sports Complex.
Alab also levelled its road record at 5-5, now turning its attention to Macau on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas is motivated to get back at the Black Bears, which dealt them a 116-103 humbling last Friday.
John Fields paced Singapore with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Xavier Alexander tallied a double-double with his 18 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Jerran Young contributed 19 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals, but picked up his fifth foul with 4:42 still left in the third quarter as he helplessly watched the Slingers see their four-game winning run snapped.
Singapore dropped to 13-8, though remains at third place after earlier clinching a playoff berth.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas 80 - Balkman 28, Ramos 22, Domingo 12, Alvano 7, Parks 6, Sumalinog 3, Urbiztondo 2, Javelona 0, Rosser 0, Rivero 0, Torres 0.
Singapore Slingers 70 - Fields 21, Young 19, Alexander 18, Goh 11, J. Lim 1, Oh 0, Liew 0, Ng 0, Low 0, K. Lim 0.
Quarterscores: 18-21; 33-35; 69-58; 80-70.