Alab gets big win, gets new sponsor

Renaldo Balkman (left) and Justin Brownlee (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
Renaldo Balkman (left) and Justin Brownlee (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Game Sunday
(OCBC Arena, Singapore)
4 p.m. – Singapore vs Alab Pilipinas

Alab Pilipinas secured a dramatic overtime victory over Chong Son Kung Fu and a new backer in San Miguel Corporation in a matter of two days to cap off an eventful January for the streaking Philippine club in the ASEAN Basketball League.

Ray Parks, who scored a season-high 31 points, Justin Brownlee, Josh Urbiztondo, and Renaldo Balkman carried Alab after being down for most of the game to stun the Chinese side, 94-91, Wednesday night at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna to end the month with six victories in seven games.

But Alab, which improved to 7-4, received a bigger boost yesterday when team owner Charlie Dy announced its partnership with San Miguel as its new sponsor, a week after Tanduay made a sudden pullout reportedly over the composition of the team roster.

Dy said on his Facebook account that the team will now be known as San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, apparently with the help of an unlikely source in PBA star LA Tenorio.

Sources said Alab coach Jimmy Alapag sought the help of Tenorio, his teammate with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and 2014 FIBA World Cup, in the days following Tanduay’s pullout.

Tenorio relayed the situation to San Miguel officials, who eventually finalized the partnership that will mark the company’s return to the ABL after almost five years.

The company carried the San Miguel Beermen banner for two seasons, winning the championship in 2013 led by a talented roster composed of season MVP Asi Taulava, Finals MVP Chris Banchero, Leo Avenido, and coached by Leo Austria.

Alab will sport new uniforms beginning Sunday when it returns to Singapore to take on the Slingers at the OCBC Arena.

Alab wore its home jersey with the Tanduay logo for the final time Wednesday.

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Written by Jonas Terrado

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