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    Alab stays unbeaten at home as Balkman leads fiery windup vs Macau

    Jan 18, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas survived a torrid shooting night from the visiting Macau Black Bears, 106-99, to remain unscathed at home in the 2019 ASEAN Basketball League at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

    Renaldo Balkman scored 37 points to go with nine rebounds, four steals, and three assists, shaking off a jammed left finger to spark a blazing 16-3 finishing kick that put the game beyond reach, 106-91 with 1:51 left to play.

    PJ Ramos was as solid as ever with his double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds while Bobby Ray Parks, wearing a black face mask after getting elbowed in the forehead the last game, finished with 13 points, 10 dimes, and four boards.

    Alab's sixth win in as many games at home enabled the Philippine side to bounce back from a sorry 73-72 defeat to Formosa last Sunday and improve to 7-2 overall.

    Lawrence Domingo stepped up for the Philippine side with a season-best 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists, leading a 22-point production by the Alab bench mob.

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    The substitutes made the biggest difference in the game, holding the fort for Alab in the final canto where Paolo Javelona gave them a nine-point advantage, 82-73, before the Black Bears slowly chipped away at the lead.

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    With Macau threatening at 90-88 in the last 4:48, Balkman weaved his magic in a killer run which he himself capped with a rim-rattling dunk that made it 106-91.

    "We have a very resilient group, a young group if you compare it to last season's team. We dropped two tough ones in our last three games and we understand we can play much better than we did," said Alab coach Jimmy Alapag.

    "But we know it's still a long season. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon, and I'm happy to see the effort and the focus from our guys right now,"

    Ethan Alvano chipped in seven points, 10 assists, and five boards, as Caelan Tiongson dropped six points and five rebounds, yet played tremendous defense against his former teammates from the then-Chong Son Kung Fu.

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    Ryan Watkins carried the Black Bears with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Anthony Tucker got 22 points, 10 assists, and six boards.

    Nathan Yu also scored 20 on 6-of-8 shooting from deep as Macau drilled 18 triples. Mikh McKinney notched 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds, and three steals in the defeat.

    The scores:

    San Miguel Alab Pilipinas 106 - Balkman 37, Ramos 21, Parks 13, Domingo 13, Javelona 9, Alvano 7, Tiongson 6, Urbiztondo 0, Rosser 0.

    Macau Black Bears 99 - Watkins 24, Tucker 22, Yu 20, McKinney 18, Liu 12, King 3, Lai 0.

    Quarterscores: 20-19, 47-48, 79-73, 106-99.

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    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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