KIWI Gardner hit two free throws with 8.6 seconds left as the Westports Malaysia Dragons defeated Alab Pilipinas, 79-77, to snap a five-game losing skid on Sunday in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
The Dragons settled a score against Alab Pilipinas behind Gardner, who made the free throws that completed a comeback from a 73-77 deficit with two minutes left at the House of Champions, Gem-in Mall in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.
Gardner scored on a transition with 55 seconds left following two made free throws by Skylar Spencer to tie the count at 77 before burying the crucial free throws that clinched just the third victory for the Dragons in 11 games this season.
The Dragons also got back at Alab at home after losing a 86-77 decision to the Philippine-based squad just last Friday at the Baliwag Star Arena in Baliwag, Bulacan.
Robby Celiz had 23 points for Alab Pilipinas, which fell to 8-5.
Sampson Carter had 21 points and 15 rebounds for Alab, which played without James Hughes. Bobby Ray Parks had eight points and eight rebounds for the Philippine squad on his 24th birthday.
Alab played catch-up for the most part but Celiz hit a triple to wrest the lead, 75-73. Parks then made a follow-up jam for a four-point lead.
Malaysia 79 — Spencer 22, Gardner 21, Munzon 20, Yeo 8, Ting 4, Loh 2, Kuek 2, Ma 0, Teo 0, Wong 0.
Alab Pilipinas 77 — Celiz 23, Carter 21, Fortuna 12, Cawaling 9, Parks 8, Knuttel 2, Gavieres 2, Domingo 0, Hubalde 0, Mendoza 0, Thiele 0.
Quarterscores: 18-13, 40-32, 64-52, 79-77.