In a game topbilled by the heavyweight match-up between 7-foot-3 PJ Ramos and 7-foot-5 Sam Deguara, it was Ramos who came out victorious.
Behind his double-double outing, Ramos powered San Miguel Alab Pilipinas to an 87-75 win over Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club, Friday evening at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
Ramos tallied 31 points and 12 rebounds, while limiting Deguara to just 14 points and nine boards. Moreover, the Puerto Rican was able to get three quick fouls against the Italian import in the first quarter alone.
“Guy’s something else. It’d be hard to find someone his size with his skill. His ability to post, to shoot from three – you can’t foul him, and he’s just a great teammate,” Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag remarked about his guest player.
On the other hand, the victory was a good bounce-back for the defending champions, who suffered their first loss of the season last Wednesday in Malaysia.
“It hasn’t been easy five days. Still one more on Sunday. I felt really bad about the game in Malaysia. We just wanted to start strong in this one,” added Alapag, as Alab played its third game in six days.
Alab started strong, leading by as much as 16 points, 42-26, in the first half.
Besides Alab, reigning local MVP Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. also recovered himself. After finishing with just five points two days ago, the second overall pick in the 2018 PBA Draft finished with 24 points, four rebounds, and four dimes.
“Ray was great. He was one of the guys from last game – as a team we struggled, and him being a big part of our team. He had a bad game, but really proud he came back,” expressed Alapag.
Hong Kong could only cut the lead to as low as nine points late in the game before Ramos put the exclamation point.
Marcus Elliott paced the 7-5 Hong Kong with 20 markers.
Alab will next face Formosa in the Dreamers’ home court on Sunday.
San Miguel Alab 87 – Ramos 31, Parks 24, Domingo 10, Balkman 8, Rosser 8, Urbiztondo 3, Alvano 2, Javelona 1, Tiongson 0, Alabanza 0, Torres 0.
Hong Kong Eastern 75 – Elliot 20, Bassett 19, Deguara 14, Chan 9, Lee 6, T. Lau 5, Wu 2, Xu 0, Tang 0, Chung 0, Chan 0, Yang 0.
Quarterscores: 22-14, 44-32, 67-49, 87-75.
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