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Alab catches fire in 2nd half to edge Macau


MANILA — Alab Pilipinas maintained its hold on the top spot in the ASEAN Basketball League after beating Macau, 106-99, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Friday.

Alab broke loose in the second half to turn back the Black Bears and open a half-game lead over the Saigon Heat for first place.

Engaging in a tight contest for most of the match, Alab began pulling away with a 10-1 run covering the last 1:55 of the third quarter and the first 26 seconds of the fourth to break out of a 72-all tie and lead, 82-73.

Macau did not give up and was within two, 88-90, with 4:48 to play.

But Alab responded with a 14-3 run to pull away for good. Macau ended the game with eight straight points for the final score.

Renaldo Balkman, despite playing the rest of the game with an injured finger, put up 37 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and four steals for Alab, which went up to 7-2.

PJ Ramos added 21 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, and one block, while Lo Domingo and Ray-Ray Parks, who played with a protective facial mask, each got 13 markers.

Ryan Watkins made 24 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, and three steals for Macau, which fell to seventh place at 6-5. (PNA)