Alab Pilipinas bows to Singapore slingers despite Ravena’s presence
SINGAPORE—Alab Pilipinas’ inconsistent play resurfaced on Sunday, leaving the Philippine club teetering on the brink for the first time in its maiden season in the 2017 Asean Basketball League.
Struggling to find their flow on offense and a step slower on defense, the Filipinos bowed to the Singapore Slingers, 67-77, in Game 1 of their best-of-three ABL semifinal series before a sellout crowd at OCBC Arena here.
The Slingers crushed Alab’s zone defense with five triples early—including two each from ex-PBA player Josh Urbiztondo and Wong Lei Long—to seize control, before leaning on Xavier Alexander down the stretch to hold off Alab in the fourth period.
“It’s the same story for us the whole season,” said Alab coach Mac Cuan. “We just can’t get over this discipline issue on defense. Those mistakes cost us especially now that we’re in the playoffs.”
“I just felt we went away from what we’re trying to do,” added Cuan. “We just didn’t pay attention to details. It wasn’t about our offense, but missed assignments defensively. We weren’t disciplined enough to play defense.”
Compounding Alab’s woes were injuries to point guard Jeric Fortuna, who hurt his shoulder in the first period, and Ray Parks, who sustained a sprained ankle in the third period and did not return to the game.
Parks, who finished with just four points in 14 minutes, is doubtful for Game 2 on Friday when the series shifts to the Star Arena in Baliwag, Bulacan.
The loss spoiled former UAAP star Kiefer Ravena’s 16-point debut for Alab.