Alab Pilipinas collapsed in the third quarter as it suffered a 79-92 loss to Chongson Kung Fu in a battle for the solo second in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Season 8 on Sunday night at the Nanhai Gymnasium in China.
After keeping apace in the opening half, the Filipino ball club allowed the Chinese squad to break away in the third frame and eventually steal the No. 2 spot, which the two teams formerly shared.
Alab dropped to No. 4 with an 11-6 win-loss record, a full game behind Thailand’s Mono Vampire Basketball Club. Chongson, on the other hand, improved to 12-5.
The San Miguel-backed cagers also absorbed their second straight setback on the road following a narrow 79-80 defeat to Westports Malaysia Dragons last week.
Renaldo Balkman finished with a game-high 29 points on top of eight rebounds and three assists while team captain Ray Parks chipped in 19 markers and five boards for Alab, which had an eight-game winning streak prior to its back-to-back losses.
Justin Brownlee added 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the loss that saw the Jimmy Alapag-mentored squad trail by as much as 23 markers.
Filipino-American guard Mikh McKinney led Chongson with 26 points highlighted by six triples to go with 10 assists while Justin Howard and Anthony Tucker tallied 25 and 23 markers, respectively.
Besides getting a revenge victory for its 91-94 overtime loss to the hosting Filipinos, the Nanhai-based team also kept an unbeaten slate at home en route to a third consecutive win.
Balkman, Parks and Brownlee fired on all cylinders, fueling Alab’s gutsy stand in the first 20 minutes to forge a close contest, 42-46.
The import trio of McKinney, Howard and Tucker though spearheaded a 27-14 blitz for a huge 73-56 lead at the end of the third frame and Chongson went on to score the lopsided win.