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Alab repulses Singapore in OT thriller

Nick King led the way anew for Alab. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

STA. ROSA, Laguna--Alab Pilipinas squandered a huge third quarter lead but recovered in overtime to edge Singapore, 86-77, in their ABL battle at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex here on Sunday night.

Alab had a chance to pull away early on after going on a 20-2 run spanning the first two quarters to open a 30-19 lead.

Although the Slingers momentarily inched closer, trimming the gap to just six, Alab recovered and eventually stretched their lead to 16, 49-33, with eight minutes left in the third quarter.

Singapore, however, sizzled later in the third and went on 25-5 run to take the lead, 58-54, with 9:22 to play in the fourth period.

After an exchange of triples from Brandon Rosser and Leon Kwek, Andrei Caracut sparked an 8-2 Alab run that gave them a 65-63 lead with 6:43 left in regulation.

Kwek and Xavier Alexander then converted back-to-back treys to give the Slingers the lead back, 69-65, with 4:56 to go in regulation.

Nick King scored back-to-back baskets to tie the game, and Jason Brickman scored on a layup to put Alab back up, 71-69, with 2:33 to go.

King, however, gave up a crucial foul on Anthony McClain, and the latter made two free throws off the said foul to force a 71-all deadlock with 46 seconds to play.

McClain then picked Brickman's pass intended for Sam Deguara, but Alab's defense bounced back and got the ball back with 6.2 seconds left in regulation.

Alab had one last chance to win it in regulation, but McClain blocked Deguara's layup as time ran out. Alab eventually pulled away late in overtime period, finishing the period on a 13-2 blast.

King finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and one steal to lead Alab, who are now at 8-4, a half-game behind Mono Vampire for the top spot in the team standings.

Brickman added 16 points, four rebounds, five steals, and two steals, while Deguara grabbed 20 rebounds along with eight points, three assists, and one steal.

Kwek finished with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal for Singapore, which fell to 5-6.

Formosa 89 Saigon 80

In Changhua, Formosa also drew nearer in the ABL leaderboard after an 89-80 win against slumping Saigon.

Playing the tail end of back-to-back games at home, the Dreamers looked to have shown signs of weariness as the Heat raced to a 46-39 halftime lead, but the former used a 26-12 third quarter to turn things around, taking the lead, 65-58.

Saigon tried to stay in the fight as the team was just down by four, 75-79, with 1:47 to play, but Formosa went on the deciding 8-1 rally to pull away for good.

Anthony Tucker fired 30 points with four rebounds, five assists, and one steal for the Dreamers, who moved up to 8-6, a half-game behind the Fubon Braves for third place in the standings. Jerran Young added 19 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, five steals, and two blocks.

Sam Thompson made 27 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block, while Tyshawn Taylor contributed 22 markers, 10 boards, five dimes, and one block for the Heat, who fell to 2-8.

Box Scores

First Game
Formosa 89-Tucker 30, Young 19, T. Chang 12, Tien 10, Yang 9, Watkins 9, Wu 0, S. Chen 0

Saigon 80-Thompson 27, Taylor 22, White 16, Dinh 6, Young 5, Tran 3, Dierker 1, Waale 0

Quarterscores: 18-20, 39-46, 65-58, 89-80

Second Game
Alab Pilipinas 86-King 20, Brickman 16, Gray 10, Domingo 9, Deguara 8, Rosser 7, Caracut 6, Williams 5, De Vera 4, Heading 3, Vigil 2

Singapore 77-Kwek 19, Elliott 18, Goh 12, Alexander 11, McClain 11, Ng 6, J. Lim 0, K. Lim 0, Oh 0

Quarterscores: 25-19, 42-31, 54-55, 71-71, 86-77

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno