Alab Pilipinas clinched a crucial win on the road, edging the Singapore Slingers, 64-62, in overtime on Sunday night in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
The lone Filipino squad in the regional caging meet relied on the efforts of imports James Hughes and Sampson Carter, who had a combined total of seven points in the extra period to bounce back from a sorry loss at home in Davao.
Hughes hit back-to-back baskets to put Alab within one, 61-62, 1:26 left in the game.
Carter pulled off a three-point play off Wei Long Wong that proved to be the final score with 23 seconds remaining.
Former PBA cager Jens Knuttel made a key defensive stop in the ensuing play as the Slingers, completing a steal that denied the home squad the chance to send the game in second overtime.
“We really needed that win,” Alab head coach Mac Cuan as their win tied their season series with the Slingers with two win apiece.
“After that loss in Davao, we had to win to get our confidence back. Again, I would like to apologize to the people of Davao because we did not play our best there but I’m happy that the Filipinos who watched us here will go home happy. They really gave us the energy to compete,” he added.
Alab stayed at No. 3 spot with 7-4 win-loss mark while Singapore stayed at second with a 10-4 mark.
The victory put the squad on track after a sorry 65-72 loss to Saigon Heat, as Cuan admitted the team had a hard time containing Slingers big man Justin Howard.
“We struggled to contain Justin Howard in the first half and that’s why we were forced to play zone. Luckily for us, their shooting was not as good because it allowed our defense to crowd their big guy,” he said.
Filipino-American standout Lawrence Domingo, who finished with 13 points and six board, gave Alab a 46-44 edge advantage with 7:40 left in regulation.
Alab’s lead stretched to 55-48 with under five minutes remaining but the home squad unleashed a 7-0 blast capped by Wei Long Wong’s split at the free throw line to send the game in overtime.
Carter led the way for Alab with a double-double haul of 10 points and 11 rebounds together with one steal.