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Alab wilts vs Saigon Heat

Alab Pilipinas squandered a five-point lead with five minutes left and suffered a stunning 72-65 loss to the league-worst Saigon Heat on Sunday in the ASEAN Basketball League at the Almendras Gym in Davao City.

Signs were pointing at another Alab win after being up by as much as 15 and 64-56 with five minutes remaining in the contest witnessed by a huge crowd.

But to the dismay of the audience, Alab failed to score a single field goal down the stretch even as Saigon pulled off an 18-1 windup to come away with a vengeful victory following a 99-77 defeat nine days earlier in Parañaque City.

Vietnamese-American David Arnold delivered the telling blows by scoring the last six points, which began with back-to-back jumpers after Chris Charles gave the Heat the lead for good at 66-64 with 2:40 remaining in the ballgame.

Arnold scored 19 points for Saigon, which improved to 2-7 but still dead last in the six-team league.

Ray Parks Jr. finished with 27 points but Alab shot itself in the foot after losing that five-point lead, and a high of 15, thus falling to a 6-4 record.

American import Sampson Carter added 13 points and 18 rebounds for Alab Pilipinas, which fell in its first home match outside of Luzon.

A layup by James Hughes gave Alab a 54-39 lead with 2:07 left in the third quarter, before entering the payoff period in complete control at 57-44.