Both teams and their matchup lived up to their hyped billing.

Tanduay Alab Pilipinas and Hong Kong Eastern showed their championship aspirations before the season even began with the moves they made during the offseason. With the rosters they were able to assemble, both clubs were touted to be among the top teams in the league with their opening night matchup being considered a marquee game so early on in the season. Fans weren’t disappointed as the game went down to the wire, nearly capped off by a Josh Urbiztondo half-court heave that would have sent the game into overtime as the final buzzer sounded.

  Marcus Elliot and Tyler Lamb showed us why they’re reigning MVP’s.

Time and time again, Eastern’s 1-2 import guard combo found the daylight they needed to do what they do best, and that’s putting the ball through the hoop. As if we needed a reminder, reigning World Import MVP Marcus Elliot flirted with a triple-double, capping off his night with 25 points (8-17, 47%), eight rebounds, nine assists and one steal while his running-mate, reigning Heritage Import MVP Tyler Lamb, wasn’t too far behind, adding 23 points (7-20, 35%), two rebounds, three assists and four steals of his own.

  Christian Standhardinger’s ABL debut.

The Filipino-German big man put on a show in front of a crowd that have become accustomed to cheering for him, and against some of his teammates from the Philippines National Team. His performance also further justified why he was taken first overall during the 2017 PBA draft by the San Miguel Beermen despite missing the draft combine. On an Eastern team that has no shortages of scoring threats, Standhardinger led the charge, finishing with a team-high 26 points (11-17, 64%) and 14 rebounds to complete his double-double. He also hit key baskets down the stretch as Tanduay Alab Pilipinas were trying to stage a comeback.

  Heavy production from starters.

Both teams were carried by their respective starters. Eastern’s Marcus Elliot, Tyler Lamb, and Christian Standhardinger all scored north of 20 points. Along with Ryan Moss and Ki Lee, Hong Kong’s starting five combined for 86 of the team’s 92 total points . On the other side, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas had four players score in double figures. Ray Parks Jr., Josh Urbiztondo, Reggie Okosa, and Ivan Johnson combined for 76 of Alab’s 89 points. The only other player to really contribute offensively for either club was Alab’s Christopher Sumalinog, who came off the bench with nine points.

  Eastern’s offensive efficiency.

Taking a break from individual performances, their was a large disparity between the two clubs in team categories. Of Hong Kong Eastern’s 33 made baskets, 21 of them were assisted on (64%) as opposed to just 10 assists for Tanduay Alab Pilipinas’ 29 made baskets (34%). The visitors also outscored their opposition in the fast break, finishing with 15 points while the home team could only muster together three points.