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Alab bounces back with tight win over Fubon

Jeremiah Gray put up his best game yet in the ABL. Nikki Collantes
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Alab Pilipinas recovered from its tough loss to the Macau Wolf Warriors with a 101-96 victory over Fubon in their ABL clash at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Tuesday night.

Alab rallied from an eight-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter as Jeremiah Gray pulled off crucial stops on former NBA veteran OJ Mayo down the stretch.

Down 76-84 with 6:10 left, Alab went on a 10-0 run to reclaim the lead, 86-84, with 4:02 remaining in the match.

Mayo tried to keep the Braves afloat as he buried a three pointer to put them back up, 87-86, but Khalif Wyatt answered with a triple of his own to give Alab the lead again, 89-87, with 3:15 remaining.

Mayo made two free throws to tie the game, 89-all, with 2:40 to go, but after a timeout, Alab scored five straight points to go back up, 94-89, with 1:53 left.

Charles Garcia scored on back-to-back baskets to keep Fubon alive, but Gray scored on a booming triple that put Alab's lead back to five, 99-94, with 58 seconds to play.

Gray then blocked Mayo's three-point attempt in the next play, although the latter recovered with a layup that brought the Braves to within three, 96-99, with 17.2 seconds left.

Alab, however, got to milk some clock before Wyatt sealed the win with two charities with 8.9 seconds remaining.

Sam Deguara bounced back from his off night against the Wolf Warriors two nights ago with 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead Alab, who moved up to third place at 5-2, a half game behind league leading Mono Vampire in the standings and just below the Kuala Lumpur Dragons for second place on winning percentage.

Nick King added 22 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one steal, while Wyatt chipped in 21 markers, four boards, four dimes, and one swipe.

In his best performance so far in the season, Gray finished with 17 points, five rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Mayo finished with 35 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, while Garcia chipped in 27 markers, six caroms, two dimes, and one swat for Fubon, which slipped to fourth place at 6-4.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno