STA. ROSA, Laguna – Tanduay Alab Pilipinas saw its third quarter rally go to waste before falling to the visiting Singapore Slingers, 97-83, Wednesday night in the ASEAN Basketball League at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex here.
Alab got to within a point late in the third after falling behind by 14 twice, only to see Singapore unleash a big breakaway in the final period to remain winless after two games in the nine-team regional league.
Slingers world imports Xavier Alexander and Ryan Wright, Fil-American AJ Mandani and local Ng Hanbin were responsible for handing Alab another miserable evening. Alexander played the lead role for the visitors with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.
Coach Jimmy Alapag’s team endured another anemic first half that saw Singapore take a 50-38 halftime lead. But Alab reduced the Slingers’ lead to one, 72-71, near the end of the third behind imports Ivan Johnson and Reggie Okosa, Josh Urbiztondo and Ray Parks Jr.
But just as when momentum appeared to have swung in Alab’s favor, Singapore’s Kelvin Goh scored on a tip-in to end the period up 74-71.
Hanbin started the fourth with a triple before joining forces with Alexander and Wright to hike the Slingers’ lead to a high of 20 points, 95-75.
“The first 2 1/2-minutes of the fourth, we gave up everything that we worked so hard to put ourselves in a position to win game,” said Alapag, who later pinned the blame on himself for the miscues.
“At the end, I got to be better for our team, I got to put our guys in a better position to go out there and win the game because it wasn’t acceptable. So I take the blame, but we’ll fix, I’ll fix it,” he added as Alab go to two-week break before traveling to Hong Kong to face defending champion Hong Kong Eastern on Dec. 13.
Okosa and Johnson finished with 24 and 18 points, respectively, for Alab in the loss. Parks had 14 points, four rebounds and four assists while Urbiztondo contributed 11 points.
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