Alab Pilipinas on brink of ABL exit after Game 1 loss to Slingers | Inquirer Sports

Alab Pilipinas on brink of ABL exit after Game 1 loss to Slingers

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 08:06 PM April 02, 2017

Photo taken from Asean Basketball League Facebook page

Photo taken from Asean Basketball League Facebook page

SINGAPORE — The margin for error just got smaller for Alab Pilipinas. And if they don’t get their acts together soon, they could be well on their way to a semifinal exit in the 2017 Asean Basketball League.

Xavier Alexander dished out an all-around game of 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Singapore Slingers dumped Alab, 77-67, to take Game 1 of their best-of-three ABL semifinal series on Sunday before a sellout crowd at OCBC Arena.


The Filipino club welcomed Kiefer Ravena into the lineup and the former Ateneo standout provided much-needed scoring punch with a team-high 16 points.


But he could do little to stop the Slingers offense that hummed to life early and put Alab on the ropes the rest of the way.

The Slingers can clinch the first finals berth with a victory in Game 2 on Friday at Star Arena in Baliwag, Bulacan.

But while Alab coach Mac Cuan was left frustrated with his team’s performance in Game 1, he knows all too well that his team is also capable of rising above adversity the way they did for most of the season.

“As bad as we played, we were still in the game in the second half,” said Cuan.

“We were there but we just have to be disciplined defensively. They have too many good shooters that we cant leave them that open. We should start to pay attention to those details because as we all know the playoffs it boils down whoever makes the stops whoever executes.”

Alab played zone for the entire first half, but the Slingers made them pay with five treys in the first two periods – two each from Wong Wei Long and Josh Urbiztondo.


Alab couldn’t get closer than four points after the early surge by the Slingers, who led by as many as 15 points in the final period.

“We went away from we’re trying to do,” said Cuan.

“We just didn’t pay attention to details. We had a solid game plan, but we didn’t follow it in the first half. When we started to follow it in the second half, we did it for a couple of stops and then the problem was we weren’t disciplined on offense. We were just not patient enough. We were trying to bring down the lead right away.”

Hobbled by foul trouble, James Hughes had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Alab, but fellow import Sampson Carter had another sub-par game with just nine points and eight rebounds.

Alab absorbed an early setback when Jeric Fortuna left the game due to a shoulder injury in the first quarter. Leading scorer Ray Parks also sustained an ankle sprain in the third period and did not return.

But its his team’s inconsistent ways that left Cuan fuming after the game.

“I’ve been telling them that its the same story the whole season,” he said. “We just cant get over that discipline thing. We’re just up and down in that aspect. We are not consistent with our effort.”

Urbiztondo had eight points for the Slingers, who also got 12 points from Delvin Goh. Justin Howard finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, but shot just 5-of-15 from the field.

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“The problem is our consistency with our effort,” said Cuan. “We have rules on defense. We did a good job on Howard, but we let Alexander go off. The instruction was to sag on him, but he still managed to get away with penetration.”

TAGS: ABL, Alab Pilipinas, Kiefer Ravena, Mac Cuan, Ray Parks, Singapore Slingers, Xavier Alexander

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