Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman debuted in style and helped Tanduay Alab Pilipinas book its second win in the ASEAN Basketball League at the expense of the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 90-79, Wednesday night at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
With the new World Imports bringing immediate impact, the sophomore Filipino club team has now improved to 2-3 and has moved to the fifth spot of the team standings. The Dragons, on the other hand, dropped to 1-3.
“Just a collective effort from everybody,” lauded Tanduay Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag. “I gotta commend Renaldo and Justin. They just came in today. They have just arrived this morning. Great effort from them.
“Both are winners. We will lean on their experience,” added the rookie head tactician.
Brownlee displayed all-around brilliance with 29 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds, while Balkman — who is coming back to the Philippines five years after being banned for life by the PBA — had 17 markers and 11 caroms.
Brownlee proved pivotal for Tanduay Alab in the second half. When Malaysia snatched the lead, 63-60, after spending most of the game behind, the six-foot-five guard nailed back-to-back triples — shots that put his side up for good.
Moreover, those three-pointers proved to be the spark of a scintillating 15-3 scoring spree — punctuated by Balkman’s breakaway two-handed dunk — that pushed Tanduay Alab’s lead to 15, 81-66, with 7:08 left to play.
Josh Urbiztondo flirted with a double-double as he produced 13 points and nine assists along with three steals. Robby Celiz supplied 10 markers for Tanduay Alab, who converted 47 percent of their shots from the field.
Westports’ loss spoiled the return of Heritage Import Joshua Munzon, who topscored for the Malaysian ball club with 21 points spiked by four treys. Marcus Marshall made 17 markers, while AJ West scored 16 and had 22 boards.
Tanduay Alab will look to make it three in a row as they visit the Singapore Slingers, who now have two-time World Import Most Valuable Player Chris Charles at their disposal, on Sunday, January 7, at the OCBC Arena.
Tanduay Alab 90 – Brownlee 29, Balkman 17, Urbiztondo 13, Celiz 10, Parks 8, Domingo 6, Maierhoffer 4, Hontiveros 3, Javellona 0, Sumalinog 0, Alabanza 0, Raymundo 0
Westsports Malaysia 79 – Munzon 21, Marshall 17, West 16, Yeo 8, Kuek 4, Cabahug 0, Ng 0, Teo 0
Quarterscores: 23-13, 39-32, 68-63, 90-79