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Deguara overcomes early struggle as Alab Pilipinas outlast Singapore in OT

Figuring in another tough game, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas leaned on its imports in overtime to escape Singapore, 86-77, in the 10th season of the ABL, Sunday at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Sports Complex in Laguna. 

Down 73-75 with 3:05 left in extra time, Jason Brickman was able to find Sam Deguara underneath to knot things up.

And the 7-foot-5 Italian-Maltese big man needed that big moment. A few possessions later, he cleaned up Brickman’s miss for the go-ahead bucket with 1:39 remaining.

Deguara gobbled 20 rebounds in the game, while scoring eight points on 25-percent shooting. Brickman continued his scoring spree with 16 points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals.

It was all Alab from there, as the Slingers committed a bevy of errors and contested shots. That then led to free throws from Prince Williams; a basket by Nick King; and five straight points from Brickman to close out the contest.

King led the way for Alab with 20 points and nine rebounds. On the other hand, Williams — who was averaging 13.3 points prior to this game — saw himself limited to just five points on five attempts.

Jeremiah Gray again did wonders for Alab, scoring 10 points. He also again proved that he is Alab’s ace defender, especially in extra time.

Alab rose to solo second with an 8-4 record while snapping the Slinger’s two-game streak to fall to 5-6.

“Credit to Jason, Nick King, and Jeremiah defensively,” said a relieved Jimmy Alapag after the game.

The Filipinos seemed headed for a blowout early on, leading by as much as 16, 49-33, early in the third canto. However, Singapore’s strong five of Leon Kwek, Marcus Elliott, Delvin Goh, Xavier Alexander, and Anthony McClain took advantage of the sudden drop-off in Alab’s play.

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Late in regulation, Alab was holding on to a 71-69 lead. McClain was then able to fish a foul on King with 46 seconds left to knot things up. Deguara had a chance to win it late, but his attempt was swatted away by McClain.

“We don’t make it easy on ourselves,” said Alapag, since Alab is coming off an overtime win against Mono just three days ago. “I thought that we were really good in the first half, especially defensively.

“It’s just one of those things that we know that they were going to make a run, and in the third quarter, we didn’t move the ball well and had a lot of turnovers,” he lamented.

Alab is now 2-1 in their series with the Slingers. They first won 90-83 at home back on December 16, before suffering a 64-85 beatdown last January 12.

Kwen led Singapore with 19 points built on five triples, while Elliott had 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Goh added 12 markers.

Alexander and McClain finished with 11 markers each, with the former also tallying 10 rebounds and seven dimes.

There will be no rest for Alab as they head to Malaysia on Tuesday to face the Malaysia Dragons.


The Scores:

San Miguel Alab 86 — King 20, Brickman 16, Gray 10, Domingo 9, Deguara 8, Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Caracut 6, Williams 5, Heading 3, Vigil 2.

Singapore 77 — Elliott 18, Kwek 17, Goh 12, Alexander 11, McClain 11, Ng 6, J. Lim 0, K. Lim 0, Oh 0.

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Quarterscores: 25-19, 42-31, 54-55, 71-71, 86-77.

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