By Jonas Terrado
(Sta. Rosa, Laguna)
8 p.m. – Alab Pilipinas vs CLS Knights
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas hopes to start its title-retention bid on the right track tonight against CLS Knights Indonesia in the ASEAN Basketball League at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
Alab is out to prove why it is one of the favorites to win a second straight crown in the 8 p.m. against the Indonesian side which is looking to spoil the Philippine team’s debut and improve its 1-3 record.
The regional league had began play last Nov. 16, with Alab spending the first three weeks of the season mapping out final preparations.
Coach Jimmy Alapag will have a collection of holdovers and newcomers in his quest for another championship.
Two-time reigning Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. is keen on ending his three-year ABL career on a high note after submitting an application to join the PBA Draft last week. Parks is expected to finish his Alab campaign before taking his talents to the PBA.
Also returning are import Renaldo Balkman, Lawrence Domingo, Pao Javelona, Josh Urbiztondo, Oping Sumalinog and JR Alabanza.
Newcomers include towering 7-foot-4 former Kia reinforcement PJ Ramos, Ethan Alvano, Brandon Rosser, former Chongson Kung Fu standout Caelan Tiongson and ex-La Salle cagers Prince Rivero and Thomas Torres.
CLS will try to score an upset victory behind imports Stephen Hurt, Montay Brandon, Brandon Jawato and former Singapore Slingers guard Wong Wei Long, who joined the Knights as a local since his mother was born in Indonesia.