Dedicated Cawaling leads Alab against Malaysia


By Jeckloy Acosta 

MANILA--Despite hearing a very tragic news, JR Cawaling stayed professional. He decided to stay and finish the game first before going home after being informed that his brother Jared died.

Dedicating this match to his late sibling, Cawaling played inspired basketball, and Alab defeated the defending crown holder Westports Malaysia Dragons by double digits, 65-54, on Sunday at the House of Champions in Cyberjaya. 

The whole squad was on a slump as Cawaling is the only who finished with double figures with 11 points. Cawaling also grabbed four boards and dished an assist.

“I just went to my bench. My starters were really sluggish. They may have been feeling the effects of the game against Singapore,” said Alab head coach Mac Cuan. “Most of them, like Ray (Parks) and our imports played a lot of minutes in the last game. The bench stepped up specially Hans (Thiele) and JR.”

The whole Alab team only shot roughly around 30 percent the whole game. But the luck is still within them as they narrowly survived a late stretch by the Dragons.

Cawaling hit a clutch trey to seal the victory.

Former PBA journeyman Thiele finished with six points and seven rebounds. While the face of the team, Ray Parks was issued on the sideline on the second quarter after feeling ailments due to an ankle injury. He almost had a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds before being benched.

Malaysia's Marcus Melvin carried his team with 14 points.

“Alab Pilipinas is all about providing opportunities for the players. Those released in the PBA, they have a home here,” Cuan said. 

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