Renaldo Balkman came through with a monstrous effort anew as Alab Pilipinas nabbed its seventh straight win at the expense of CLS Knights, 80-73, in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Season 8 on Sunday night at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Balkman sizzled with 36 points, pouring 13 of those in the pivotal fourth quarter, and hauled down 10 rebounds, towing the Filipino ball club to the league-best winning streak.
With its second victory over CLS in as many encounters, the San Miguel-backed Alab tightened its grip of No. 3 with a 10-4 win-loss record.
Justin Brownlee flirted with a triple-double as the American import chalked 16 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists while captain Ray Parks Jr. also displayed an all-around showing of 17 markers, four boards, four dimes and a block.
Brownlee and Parks sparked an early surge that handed the Jimmy Alapag-mentored team a 25-15 lead in the opening period.
It would be the only double-digit spread in the game as the two squads battled toe-to-toe the rest of the way.
Trailing by a point at the start of the final frame, Alab dropped eight straight points anchored on Balkman and Brownlee to post a 67-60 advantage.
The Knights closed to within 70-71 with 5:43 left after American import Brian Williams completed a three-point play.
Balkman then took Alab on his shoulders down the stretch as the Puerto Rican came up with his own and-one play to ignite a finishing 9-3 run that set the final count.
Williams tallied a double-double of 24 points and 17 rebounds while Shane Edwards chipped in 17 markers for CLS, which stayed on No. 7 with a lowly 3-10 slate.
Mario Wuysang scored 13 points off the bench and Filipino-American wingman Keith Jensen added 12 markers in the loss.
Alab will try to continue its winning roll when it hosts cellar-dwelling Formosa Dreamers on February 18 at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
ALAB PILIPINAS (80)– Balkman 36, Parks 17, Brownlee 16, Domingo 8, Urbiztondo 3, Raymundo 0, Celiz 0, Sumalinog 0, Hontiveros 0, Alabanza 0, Javelona 0.
CLS KNIGHTS (73)– Williams 24, Edwards 17, Wuysang 13, Jensen 12, Lish 5, Enguio 2, Kurniawan 0, Hidayat 0, Nugroho 0.
Quarterscores: 25-19; 47-43; 59-60; 80-73