San Miguel Alab Pilipinas clash with defending champion Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club in the semifinals of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Season 8 today at the Southorn Stadium.
Alab and Hong Kong Eastern will cross paths anew in Game One of the best-of-three series at 8 p.m.
The Filipino squad advanced to the Final Four after sweeping its quarterfinals tiff against Saigon Heat while the Hong Kong cagers clinched an outright berth to the semifinals after finishing as the second seed.
Jimmy Alapag’s crew, then playing without World Imports Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee, lost twice to the Edu Torres-mentored team early in the elimination round.
Balkman, who joined forces with Brownlee in steering Alab to a season-best eight-game winning streak, is thrilled to go up against the reigning titlist.
“Just like every day, every night, we go out and give a show for the fans. It’s going to be a good one. They (Hong Kong) haven’t seen us. It will be our first time playing them and their first time playing us,” said the Puerto Rican big man.
Balkman is optimistic that Alab can come up with an upset over the heavily favored Hong Kong.
“For us it’s being consistent, play hard and play together. Our guys are the best at playing really well right now. If they keep it up, we can’t be stopped. We’ll take it one Besides Balkman and Brownlee, Alab will also lean on reigning Local Most Valuable Player Ray Parks Jr. and Heritage Import Lawrence Domingo.
Hong Kong, on the other hand, will bank on Filipino-German stalwart Christian Standhardinger, defending World Import MVP Marcus Elliott and Heritage Import MVP Tyler Lamb.