San Miguel Alab Pilipinas shone brighter than the Saigon Heat at home, as they dealt their former playoff foes a 111-87 loss.
The defending champions started the game on fire, building a double-digit lead after going on a 15-4 run in the latter part of the first period. They eventually carried a 20-point cushion going into the halftime break.
Saigon mounted a spirited comeback to open the third quarter as they nailed nine three-pointers in the third quarter alone, cutting their deficit to as low as eight points on multiple occasions. However, they had little answer to Alab Pilipinas’ advantage inside the paint, eventually bowing to the fourth quarter onslaught by the home squad.
Alab Pilipinas outrebounded the Heat 53-37, while shooting 60 percent from within the arc. Meanwhile, Saigon struggled from the field for most of the night, only making 22 out of 67 shots attempted.
PJ Ramos took full advantage of their edge inside, scoring 30 points to go with 18 rebounds. Renaldo Balkman also had a field night with 29 points, seven boards, and five boards, while Bobby Ray Parks Jr. rounded back into form to add 23 markers in the blowout victory that brought their unbeaten home record to 10-0.
On the other hand, local forward Chris Dierker stepped up in the absence of injured key cogs Sang Dinh and Kyle Barone as he led the Heat in scoring with 20 points off 50 percent shooting from long distance.
DeAngelo Hamilton, who replaced Barone in this game, added 15 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Mike Burnatowski and Trevon Hughes added 19 and 16 points each in the loss.
The league-leading Alab Pilipinas (12-2) will go on the road to pay Hong Kong Eastern on February 8, while third placed Saigon Heat (10-7) will look to stay ahead of the fellow contender Singapore Slingers when both teams clash on the 10th.
Follow us on Twitter at @aseansports1.