by Jonas Terrado
Game Today (Changhua, Taiwan)
3 p.m. – Formosa vs Alab Pilipinas
Defending champion San Miguel Alab Pilipinas looks to wrap up the grueling stretch of four games in eight days when it battles the Formosa Dreamers this afternoon in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) at the Changhua County Stadium in Taiwan.
Two days removed from an 87-75 rout of Hong Kong Eastern at home, Alab aims to gain a second straight this season over the Dreamers in the 3 p.m. contest that will conclude a hectic schedule filled with plenty rides but short on rest.
Coach Jimmy Alapag is pleased to see Alab head into Taiwan with renewed confidence after regaining its winning ways against Hong Kong following a stunning 72-71 loss to the Westports Malaysia Dragons last Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur.
Seven-foot-four import PJ Ramos set the tone for the win by scoring 31 points while Ray Parks Jr. bounced back from a dismal outing against the Dragons with a season-high 24 on 9-of-17 from the field in front of a good-sized crowd at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
Alab also benefited from the early foul trouble of Hong Kong’s 7-foot-5 giant Sam Deguara, who had three in the first three minutes to set the tone for the one-sided affair.
It was in the same Sta. Rosa venue where Alab first met Formosa last Dec. 21, needing a key fourth-quarter breakaway to score an 86-72 victory.
But Alab knows a repeat performance will be harder this time after Formosa made it difficult in their first meeting.
The Dreamers have risen into one of the ABL’s top teams following a 1-19 record in their expansion season.
Led by Malcolm Miller, William Artino and Tevin Glass and local Kenneth Chien, Formosa has posted a 7-4 record for a share of third place with Vietnam’s Saigon Heat and the Singapore Slingers.