With the fight for the right to gain an outright semifinals berth still hanging in the balance, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas faltered against Chong Son Kung Fu, receiving a 79-92 beating, Sunday evening at the Nanhai Gymnasium.
Alab fell to 11-6, dropping to fourth. Moreover, Chong Son rose to solo second with a 12-5 record, while Mono Vampire sit in third with a 12-6 slate.
With the win, Chong Son knotted their season series at 1-all. Alab had taken the opener last January 31 with a 94-91 win over at the Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
The game itself was a romp by the third frame, as Alab was limited to just 14 points during that period. The quartet of Anthony Tucker, Justin Howard, Caelan Tiongson, and Mikh McKinney ran roughsod on Alab.
Chong Son’s momentum carried over to the final quarter, as the hosts were able to extend their lead to a game-high 23 points, 81-59, after a triple by Chongren He with 8:39 left. Alab could only get the lead to as low as 14 points before settling for the 13-point loss.
Though finishing with 29 points and eight rebounds, Renaldo Balkman had to fight off foul trouble for the entire contest. Reigning Local Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. had 19 markers but shot just 5-of-14 from the field, while Justin Brownlee had 18 points on 22 attempts.
McKinney led Chong Son with 26 points on an efficient 10-of-16 shooting clip to go along with 10 assists. Fellow Filipino-American Tiongson had nine points and nine rebounds.
Both Howard and Tucker played 39 minutes in the contest, with the former finishing with 25 points and 16 rebounds while Tucker scoring 23 markers.
Alab Pilipinas will next play on Wednesday, March 14, at the USEF Gym in Davao City.