After losing their last four games in the elimination round, the series of unfortunate events continues for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
Picking up a late-game gift, Ray Parks, Jr. could not take advantage, as the defending champions fell to Hong Kong Eastern, 88-90, Friday evening at the Hoopsdome in Cebu City.
And it all came down to the last 13.9 seconds of the game.
Hong Kong, who stormed back from 15 points down to gain a 90-86 cushion, collapsed on defense, letting Renaldo Balkman score on an easy lay-in with 10 ticks to spare.
Off a timeout, Ethan Alvano’s pesky defense forced Marcus Elliott to commit a backcourt violation to give the ball back to Alab. Confusion ensued afterward.
Parks, the reigning two-time Local MVP, stumbled but Caelan Tiongson was able to save the ball and give it back to Alab’s skipper. A good screen by PJ Ramos freed the lane for Parks, but the NU product hesitated, failing to put up a shot as time expired.
The San Miguel-backed squad led by as much as 15 points in the third canto, 60-45, but the visitors went on a 16-2 tear to gain the lead.
In his second game back, Balkman finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. Fellow Puerto Rican PJ Ramos tallied 17 points and seven rebounds.
Parks was limited to just 10 points after suffering from a right ankle sprain in the contest.
O’Darien Bassett, who drained the go-ahead basket with 29.6 seconds left, had 29 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Fellow guest players Elliott and Michael Holyfield had 22 points, eight boards, and five assists; and 14 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks, respectively.
Alab will have to pick themselves up quick in this best-of-three quarterfinals series in the ABL Season 9 Playoffs. A loss on Wednesday at the Southorn Stadium in Hong Kong means the end of the road for the Philippine-based club team.
Hong Kong 90 — Bassett 29, Elliott 22, Holyfield 14, Lau 9, Xu 8, Siu 5, Lee 3, Chan 0.
San Miguel Alab 88 — Balkman 30, Ramos 17, Tiongson 13, Parks 10, Alvano 8, Rosser 7, Javelona 3, Urbiztondo 0, Sumalinog 0.
Quarterscores: 22-23, 36-44, 63-66, 90-88.