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Slingers give Alab rude ABL welcome

The Slingers huddle after the win.
By Ivan Saldajeno

BIÑANThe Singapore Slingers bucked off playing undermanned and handed Alab Pilipinas a loss in its ABL debut, 71-66, at the Alonte Sports Arena on Sunday night.

Playing with only eight men, the Slingers used a 16-0 run in the third quarter to rally back from 11 points down but needed some lucky breaks down the stretch to move to solo first place at 2-0.

Alab had a bright moment in the second period, going on a 17-4 run to open the game's largest gap at 31-20 and would keep the lead to at most eight later on.

But Singapore launched the huge 16-0 rally highlighted by a thunderous posterizer by Xavier Alexander on Ray-Ray Parks to go up, 55-47.

Alab did not give up, ending the third on an 8-0 blitz capped by a buzzer-beating three from Jeric Fortuna and adding two more from Eric Sandrin at the start of the fourth to retake the lead, 57-55, and set up a down-the-wire finish.

However, the breaks did not go Alab's way in the end as Sandrin missed potential go-ahead baskets and the club had two crucial errors that sealed its fate.

Justin Howard had 22 points, 20 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal, while Wong Wei Long added 17 points, two rebounds, three assists, and one steal for the Slingers.

Parks led Alab with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Box Scores:

Singapore 71-Howard 22, Wong 17, Alexander 15, Kwek 11, Ng 4, Folkoff 2, Austria 0, Oh 0

Alab 66-Parks 19, Sandrin 13, Fortuna 10, Acuña 7, Thiele 6, Cawaling 5, Celiz 2, Domingo 2, Hubalde 2, Mendoza 0, Knuttel 0

Quarterscores: 16-14, 30-39, 55-55, 71-66

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno