After sitting out the last three games due to a groin injury, Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. was a man on a mission as he made his return.
Behind a stellar performance by the two-time reigning ABL Local Most Valuable Player, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas trashed the visiting Saigon Heat, 111-87, Sunday evening at the Lapu Lapu Sports Complex in Cebu.
This is Alab’s 12th win in 14 tries in the 9th season of the ABL. Moreover, the Philippine-based club team remain perfect at home with a 10-0 record – 2-0 in Lapu Lapu, as their first win in Cebu came via a 105-95 triumph over the Zhuhai Wolf Warriors last January 6.
Parks scattered 23 points on an ultra-efficient 8-of-12 shooting clip to go along with seven assists, two rebounds, and a steal.
This game was particularly special for the second-generation cager. His three-pointer, with 3:57 left in the opening frame, punched his ticket to the ABL’s 1000-point club. The second overall pick in the 2018 PBA Draft becomes the 16th player to join this prestigious club.
But it was not just Parks, Jr. who clicked in this lopsided contest. Alab’s Puerto Rican imports had a huge imprint in the game as well.
PJ Ramos – who had a brief confrontation with Saigon guest player DeAngelo Hamilton early in the opening frame – tallied 30 points and 18 rebounds. Not to be outdone, Renaldo Balkman added 29 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Behind the Alab trio, the hosts led by as much as 21 points in the first half and never looked back.
Chris Dierker and Murphy Burnatowski tried to concoct a fourth-quarter comeback, cutting the lead to as low as eight. But Alab’s firepower proved too much for the skidding Saigon quintet, as they blasted the visitors with a 30-point final frame to extend the lead to as high as 24 points, 108-84.
Dierker had 20 points to lead Saigon while Burnatowksi added 19 points. Saigon, who dropped their third straight game to fall to 10-7, only had six bench points compared to 22 for Alab.
Alab heads to Wan Chai on February 8 to take on Hong Kong Eastern.
San Miguel Alab 111 — Ramos 30, Balkman 29, Parks 23, Alvano 7, Domingo 6, Urbiztondo 6, Javelona 5, Sumalinog 3, Rosser 2, Tiongson 0, Alabanza 0, Torres 0.
Saigon 87 — Dierker 20, Burnatowski 19, Hughes 16, Hamilton 15, Tran 11, Cilia 4, Waale 2, H. Nguyen 0.
Quarterscores: 33-17, 53-33, 81-69, 111-87.