Parks doubtful but Alab confident it can stretch series
For all of its inconsistent play, Alab Pilipinas seems to find a way to prolong its season in the 2017 Asean Basketball League.
But there will be less room for errors on Friday when Alab tries to keep its season alive against the Singapore Slingers in Game 2 of their best-of-three seminal series at Star Arena in Baliuag, Bulacan.
Alab coach Mac Cuan is confident his team can still beat the Slingers despite Ray Parks’ doubtful status due to a sprained ankle.
Point guard Jeric Fortuna is also nursing a shoulder injury.
“It will be the next man up,” said Cuan, whose team dropped a 67-77 decision in Game 1 at OCBC Arena in Singapore last Sunday.
“Without sounding cocky or overconfident, I honestly don’t think Singapore can beat us if we play to our full potential.”
Game 3, if necessary, will be played on Sunday, in Singapore.
Extending the series will be easier said than done with Cuan hoping to get better performances from imports Sampson Carter and James Hughes.
The 6-foot-7 Carter, who was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies to a preseason deal two years ago, made just two of eight shots as he struggled to keep up with Singapore counterpart Xavier Alexander.
Kiefer Ravena will also be counted upon to lead Alab after debuting with 16 points in the Game 1 loss where the Filipinos allowed Alexander to explode for 24 points.
The former two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player feels they still have plenty of fight in them to push the series to a decider.
“We know what we’re capable of as a team so it’s a matter of us players executing and stepping up,” said Ravena.
Cuan believes Alab must also draw a big game from its local crew of Robby Celiz, JR Cawaling, Val Acuña and Jens Knuttel to keep its title hopes alive.
“We need the discipline on defense,” said Cuan.
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