Hong Kong Eastern Basketball team leaned on the clutch baskets of Fil-German Christian Standhardinger in the endgame to repulse a furious rally by Tanduay Alab Pilipinas to score a 92-89 victory in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) opener at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The first overall pick in the recent PBA draft showed why he deserved to be the top overall pick as he practically doused cold water on Tanduay Alab’s late rally scoring two crucial baskets to preserve HK Eastern’s win.
Down by as much as 15 points, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas went on a scoring barrage in the final quarter even taking the lead 73-72 behind Bobby Ray Parks Jr.’s three-point play. But a series of Alab turnovers and missed attempts enabled the current ABL champions to regain the lead.
With HK Eastern leading 88-83 in just under a minute left, Alab’s world import Reggie Okosa fired a three point basket to trim the deficit to 2. After the timeout, Christian Standhardinger scored on a wide open jumper with 33 seconds left. In the ensuing play, Ray Parks converted again on a three-point play off a foul by Marcus Elliot to cut the lead 90-89 with still 10 seconds left. Christian Standhardinger once again found himself wide open underneath to score the final basket of the game before Josh Urbiztondo’s half-court desperation attempt almost went in.
HK Eastern’s win spoiled the coaching debut of former Gilas stalwart Jimmy Alapag.
Christian Standhardinger finished with the game-high 26 points and hauled down 14 rebounds. He also had 4 assists and 2 steals in his ABL debut. Reigning finals and world import MVP Marcus Elliot flirted with a triple-double as he tallied 25 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists.
Reggie Okosa led Tanduay Alab Pilipinas with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Ray Parks and Ivan Johnson scored 17 each for Alab.
Alab Pilipinas will try to bounce back on their next game as they will face the Singapore Slingers on November 29 at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
HK Eastern (92): Standhardinger 26, Elliot 25, Lamb 23, Okosa 10, Xu 4, Lee 2, Tang 2.
Alab Pilipinas (89): Okosa 28, Johnson 17, Parks 17, Urbiztondo 14, Sumalinog 9, Maeirhofer 2, Domingo 2.
Quarterscores: 24-18, 54-43, 73-68, 92-89.