Alab keeps home slate perfect, trips Black Bears
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas warmed up for its battle with Formosa Dreamers with a come-from-behind subdue Macau Black Bears, 101-96, on Friday night in Asean Basketball League at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The reigning champions survived a spectacular 50-point performance from Filipino-American guard Mikh McKinney as Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos held the fort with double-double outputs for Alab, which stayed on top with an 18-4 record.
Balkman finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Ramos also scattered 29 points and 13 rebounds for Alab, which avenged its 116-103 defeat to Macau last week.
Alab missed two key players—Caelan Tiongson and Brandon Rosser—due to injuries and also saw power forward Lawrence Domingo leave the game due to a knee problem in the third period.
The three players are unlikely to see action as the Filipino ballclub takes on Formosa on Sunday at Changhua Stadium in Taiwan in a battle between the top two teams in the league.
Alab can virtually seal top seeding heading into the playoffs with a win over the Dreamers, who overwhelmed Wolf Warriors, 97-78, last Saturday to improve to 16-6.
McKinney’s career performance was spiked by 7-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc, drawing praise from Alab coach Jimmy Alapag, who compared the explosive guard to NBA legend Allen Iverson.
McKinney, who also joined the league’s 1,000-point club in only his second season, shot 17-of-29 overall.
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