ABL’s reigning local MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. will try to lead Tanduay Alab Pilipinas to their first victory in the ABL (Photo by Jamil Buergo)
STA ROSA, Laguna – After falling short to the defending ABL champions HK Eastern basketball team in their opening game last November 19, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas hopes to avert another home loss tonight against the tough Singapore Slingers at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Sports Complex in Laguna.
Despite a strong late comeback try against the Standhardinger-led HK Eastern, Alab suffered a 92-89 loss at the Mall of Asia Arena.
World imports Reggie Okosa and Ivan Johnson will try to spearhead again Alab’s offensive against the Slinger’s equally talented imports Xavier Alexander and Ryan Wright. Okosa had an impressive debut for Alab as he tallied 28 points and 12 rebounds in their opening game while former TNT import Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds but fouled out late in the fourth quarter when Alab was trying to mount a comeback against Hong Kong.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. on the other hand will try to stay out of early foul trouble which led him to sit most of the first half in their game against HK Eastern. Parks had 17 points in their game against HK Eastern.
Also looking to notch his first win as a coach is the former Gilas standout Jimmy Alapag. The rookie coach is still obviously adjusting to his new role from being the team leader inside the court to a leader calling the shots from the sidelines. “When you’ve played for so long, it’s like, it’s a much different perspective,” he said about his first coaching experience. “Because when you’re playing, you’re focused on making the shot or making the assist, but now when you’re coaching, you’re trying to put the pieces together to make it work with the five guys on the court.”
Other locals who played well in Alab’s opener are Josh Urbiztondo, who played for the Slingers last year, and Chris Sumalinog. Sumalinog sank three three-pointers in his ABL debut to finish the game with 9 points.