Alab Pilipinas yielded a 77-67 decision to higher-ranked Singapore Slingers in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinals of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) at the OCBC Arena on Sunday.
Even the addition of Kiefer Ravena could not empower the Philippine squad as the home team banked on its hot shooting to grab a 1-0 lead in the series.
Ravena debuted for Alab with 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. He also had two rebounds and same number of assists.
Alab reinforcement James Hughes posted a double-double performance with 13 points and 11 rebounds but the PH team had no answers to Slingers’ American import Xavier Alexander, who tallied 24 points and nine boards.
Former PBA player Josh Urbiztondo and Wong Lei Long hit a triple each to dictate the tempo for the home squad resulting in a 41-31 lead with two minutes left before halftime.
Alab struggled with its offense, shooting just 35 percent and was 3-of-15 from the rainbow territory.
Alab’s woes were magnified after its main man sprained his ankle limiting his production to just four points in 15 minutes of play.
Alab will try to tie the series in Game 2 on Friday at the Baliwag Star Arena in Bulacan.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES