Justin Brownlee paced Alab Pilipinas’ offense with 29 points and 8 assists (Photo by Jamil Buergo)
Tanduay Alab Pilipinas paraded their new imports and immediately sent shockwaves to the rest of the league with a masterful 90-79 victory over the visiting Westports Malaysia Dragons on Wednesday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Despite just arriving earlier in the day and not having the luxury of practicing with the team, Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman immediately delivered as they provided instant offense and much needed experience for Tanduay Alab Pilipinas. Both imports came in as replacement for Reggie Okosa, who left the team after its first win, and Ivan Johnson due to injury.
Alab Pilipinas waxed hot right after tip-off as they built a commanding 23-13 to end the first quarter behind the hot shooting of Robbie Celiz. The Dragons managed to trim the lead, 39-32, to end the first half.
Westports Malaysia made the game interesting in the third as they were able to grab the lead, 58-56, via Joshua Munzon’s three pointer with under 3 minutes left in the quarter. With the Dragon’s threat to pull away from Alab, Justin Brownlee scored eight straight points including two three-point baskets to turn a 58-61 deficit to 68-63 lead heading into the final quarter.
Brownlee’s scoring spree in the third quarter opened up opportunities for the rest of the team as Balkman and Parks helped Alab erect its biggest lead, 88-72, with only two minutes left in the game enroute to Alab’s first win at home.
“It’s great to have them on our side. They are world class imports” said Alab Pilipinas head coach Jimmy Alapag referring to Balkman and Brownlee.
Interestingly, Alab Pilipinas locals played with Balkman and Brownlee as if they have been playing together for quite some time already as they only committed nine turnovers throughout the game while averaging over 16 in their first four games. They also shot 47% of their field goals.
The win improved Tanduay Alab Pilipinas’ win-loss record to 2-3. They will next face the Singapore Slingers on Sunday in Singapore then on January 10 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Alab Pilipinas (90) – Brownlee 29, Balkman 17, Urbiztondo 13, Celiz 10, Parks 8, Domingo 6, Maierhoffer 4, Hontiveros 3, Javellona 0, Sumalinog 0, Alabanza 0, Raymundo 0
Quarterscores: 23-13, 39-32, 68-63, 90-79