Going to Taiwan with just nine healthy bodies, the players of San Miguel Alab Pilipinas made sure to put up a fight.
However, the numbers of the Formosa Dreamers were simply too much. The defending ABL champions suffered a 71-79 loss, Sunday afternoon at the Changhua Country Stadium in Taiwan.
This is Alab’s fifth loss, dropping them to 18-5; it is also their second defeat in their last four games. Moreover, Formosa – who raised their slate to 16-6 – are just two games behind the Philippine-side for pole position.
The San Miguel-backed squad did not have the services of four key players in the contest. Renaldo Balkman (concussion protocol), Lawrence Domingo (knee), Caelan Tiongson (right ankle), and Brandon Rosser (right knee) were not fielded for the contest.
Still, Alab even led entering the final frame, 62-59.
However, without the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Alab’s wall collapsed in the final frame, as William Artino and Malcolm Miller led a 12-2 rally to give Formosa a 71-66 edge.
Ray Parks, Jr. tried to will Alab back but huge buckets by Tevin Glass held off any hijack attempt by the visitors.
Parks finished with 27 points, six rebounds, and two assists, while PJ Ramos added 12 points and 10 rebounds. However, the 7-foot-3 Puerto Rican was held scoreless in the final frame.
Ethan Alvano scattered 14 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Formosa’s big three did all the damage to Alab. Glass went on to tally 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Miller added 18 points and 12 rebounds. Artino chipped in 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Dreamers now on a 2-1 series lead over Alab. The series finale takes place on March 17 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
But before that, Alab head to Macau to face the Black Bears on March 15.
San Miguel Alab 71 — Parks 27, Alvano 14, Ramos 12, Urbiztondo 8, Javelona 5, Rivero 4, Sumalinog 1, Alabanza 0, Torres 0.
Formosa 79 — Glass 27, Miller 18, Artino 16, Chen 7, Lee 5, Chien 4, Cheng 2, Tien 0, Wu 0.
Quarterscores: 26-22, 37-35, 62-59, 71-79.