It was one heck of a close game between the Chong Son Kung Fu and San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, who was formerly known as Tanduay Alab Pilipinas at the time, winning the game close in overtime. As the result suggests, it was a tight game between the two parties, where signature players showed their skills and passion in front of a jam-packed Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.
However, Josh Urbiztondo was once again clutch when Alab needed his long bombs the most during the final three minutes of regulation. The ex-PBA star drilled in three consecutive triples that almost allowed his team to finish the game with the added time, but the Kung Fu hung on to force overtime.
This is will be the third straight home game for the Kung Fu this week, so their stamina could end up being a huge issue given how heavily the team relies on their imports. Moreover, Alab is a team that values hustle plays, and the players basically try to crash the board on a consistent basis. Both Caelan Tiongson and Justin Howard will need to ensure they are protecting their paint safe and sound, otherwise the home team could be trailing early in the game.
Apart from that, the Chinese team will really need their local players to step up their game, especially in drilling open shots that have been awarded by opponents all season long. Luo Yong Xuan, also known as “Camel,” has been contributing steadily since midway during ABL 8, but his fellow teammates also need to show their capabilities to help their team make a final hard push to the playoffs.
Key Individual Match-Up(s)
Mikh McKinney VS Bobby Ray Parks Jr
Due to his heritage background, the match-up against Alab was more than a normal one to Mikh McKinney, who was one assist shy of a double-double performance. The Fil-Am import was able to drive into the lane at his will, using his eye-catching ball handling skills and acrobatic layups to finish possessions. His ability to score will surely attract help defenders to double team when he drives, with his beyond average passing skill, it’s up to his teammates to finish the rest of the work.
Fan favorite Bobby Ray Parks Jr has transformed himself into a relentless defender this season, one who uses his long arms and athleticism to force his opponent into tough shots. During the last meeting, he was able to produce an efficient 11-out-18 shots from the field, while isolated against opposing floor general-Anthony Tucker on the other end.
The “X” Factor
If everything goes right, imports should be cancelling one another out, leaving it up to the fifth guy on court to seal the deal. It was “Fireball” who boiled the entire arena with his crucial three-pointers down the stretch in their first meeting. Obviously, the Kung Fu would put their hope on “Camel,” who is shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc this season. Although Luo can be a little shaky from time to time, he isn’t afraid of taking shots when left open.