The Formosa Dreamers deal Alab Pilipinas their first home loss of the season as the top two squads in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) battled for the top seed going into the playoffs.
With the 88-74 win, Formosa have now won their eight-straight game and carry a 3-1 series advantage against Alab Pilipinas this season, giving them the edge in the event of a tie in the standings after the regular season.
Alab Pilipinas’ returning forward Caelan Tiongson immediately made an impact, scoring five points in the opening minutes that helped the home team build an early eight-point lead. However, the Dreamers raced to a 13-8 run to cut the deficit down to three to close the opening quarter.
Formosa eventually took the lead after a three-pointer from Malcolm Miller at the 6:03 mark of the second period. Miller scored eight points in the quarter to help the Taiwanese side enter the half with a 38-35 advantage.
Miller hit a fastbreak layup to give the Dreamers their biggest lead of the game at 69-53 with eight minutes remaining in the final quarter.
A near scuffle between the two teams with 2:30 remaining in the game suspended action for a couple of minutes after Alab Pilipinas guard Josh Urbiztondo appeared to have given Malcolm Miller a hard foul, disqualifying both Alab Pilipinas’ Caelan Tiongson and the Dreamers’ Miller, while also assessing both Miller and Filipino guard Josh Urbiztondo with technical fouls.
Malcolm Miller tallied 26 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and two blocked shots prior to the ejection, while fellow imports Will Artino and Tevin Glass added 24 and 23 markers each.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. led the home squad with 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while import PJ Ramos struggled offensively but still finished with 22 points and nine boards in the loss.
The defending champions continued to play shorthanded as they were still without Lawrence Domingo (knee), Brandon Rosser (knee), and import Renaldo Balkman (broken nose).
The Dreamers continue their road trip as they visit the Wolf Warriors in Zhuhai on March 20, while San Miguel Alab Pilipinas will try to end their losing streak when they travel to Vietnam to face the Saigon Heat on the 24th.
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