by Jonas Terrado
The ASEAN Basketball League title reign of San Miguel Alab Pilipinas came to an end Wednesday night after being manhandled by Hong Kong Eastern, 102-84, in Game 2 of their best-of-three quarterfinals at Southorn Stadium.
Alab lost an early 12-point lead while its defense faltered from the second quarter onwards, allowing Hong Kong to sweep the quarterfinal series in front of its home fans.
Efforts by imports PJ Ramos and Renaldo Balkman, Ray Parks Jr. and Josh Urbiztondo went in vain as Alab ended its campaign on a sour note by losing the last six games. including the playoffs.
Coach Jimmy Alapag’s squad looked as if it will cruise towards dominating the season, leading the standings for most of the way until injuries led to a late swoon to settle for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs at 18-8.
Alab fell 90-88 in the series opener last Friday in Cebu which enabled Hong Kong to gain massive confidence in the eventual series clincher.