MANILA — Alab Pilipinas’ unbeaten streak at the start of the ASEAN Basketball League season came to an end on Wednesday night after Malaysia Dragons hacked out a nail biting 72-71 home win at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
Jonathan Wong won it for the Dragons as he scored on a layup with 18 seconds remaining to give the Macau Black Bears, which earlier edged the Formosa Dreamers at home, 116-110, some sort of a favor as far as the leaderboard is concerned.
Both teams engaged in a seesaw battle for most of the fourth quarter, but Wong stopped the sequence with a layup against the defense of Caelan Tiongson.
Alab had a chance to steal the win on the road as Ethan Alvano found Tiongson open inside, but his pass was just too strong and the ball went out of bounds, to seal their fate.
Wong finished with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block for Malaysia, now with a 3-3 standing.
Nnanna Egwu added 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists, six blocks, and two steals, while Chris Eversley and Loh Shee Fai each tallied 12 markers.
Renaldo Balkman’s 31-point explosion went for naught as Alab suffered their first loss after a 5-0 start.
Alab and the Black Bears (6-2) are now virtually tied for first place, although Alab maintains hold of the top spot on a better winning percentage.
In the other games, Eastern banked on a hot fourth quarter to edge Singapore at home in Hong Kong, 88-81, while CLS pulled off a 110-82 rout of Mono Vampire in Nonthaburi. PNA-northboundasia.com