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Tiebreaker Times


Joshua Munzon, Westports Malaysia snap Alab’s eight-game winning streak

Joshua Munzon’s split free throws in the last eight seconds helped Westports Malaysia Dragons escape San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, 90-89, and end the latter’s eight-game winning streak, Sunday at MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

The Filipino-American’s heroic deed proved to be the perfect conclusion for the Malaysian ball club in the bout where they were deemed as the underdogs, as it completed their comeback from eight points down early in the payoff period.

Munzon finished with 19 points and six rebounds, and made his presence felt strongly on the defensive of the floor as he had three steals and two blocks.

The Dragons, with the huge win, have improved to 5-10 and have kept themselves alive for the 8th ASEAN Basketball League’s playoff race. The playoff-bound San Miguel Alab, meanwhile, dropped to 11-5.

World Import Chris Eversley powered Westports with 36 points and six rebounds. Local star Kuek Tian Yuan chalked up 14 points, while Fil-Am guard Jawhar Purdy produced 11 markers, six caroms, and four dimes.

The Dragons were down 74-82 with about six minutes remaining in the final frame, but were able to bring the eight-point wall down through an 11-2 rally — ended by Munzon’s dunk — to take an 85-84 lead with 3:19 to go.

Alab’s Fireball Josh Urbiztondo unloaded a trifecta on the other end to help the Filipino dribblers regain the edge, 87-85, but Wong Yi Hou’s split and Munzon’s own trey gave Westports the lead once more, 89-87, with 57 seconds left.

Renaldo Balkman’s lay-up off a roll with 42 ticks to go tied it up at 89-all, and an opportunity to shun the home team presented itself when Yi Hou committed a turnover and Justin Brownlee was sent to the line with 31 seconds to go.

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Unfortunately — and uncharacteristically — Brownlee missed both of his freebies, leaving the door for the Dragons open. Munzon took it into his own hands, and he drew a foul from Lawrence Domingo that earned him a trip to the stripe.

That is when Munzon’s heroics took place. He split his freebies to lift Westports to a one-point lead, and Dondon Hontiveros’ potential game-winner for Alab missed, thus sealing the huge triumph for the hungry Dragons.

Balkman paced San Miguel Alab with 33 points and 19 rebounds. Brownlee had 25 points, five boards, and seven assists, but committed seven turnovers. Reigning Local MVP Ray Parks, Jr. chipped in 10 and seven caroms.

Alab will next face Chong Son Kung Fu on Sunday, March 11 at Nanhai.

The Scores:

San Miguel Alab 89 — Balkman 33, Brownlee 25, Parks 10, Domingo 7, Raymundo 6, Urbiztondo 6, Maierhofer 2, Hontiveros 0, Sumalinog 0.

Westsports Malaysia 90 — Eversley 36, Munzon 19, Kuek 14, Purdy 11, Davis 9, Wong 1, Teo 0.

Quarterscores: 26-24, 47-44, 69-65, 89-90.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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