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No end to Alab woes

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Game Sunday
(Almendras Gym, Davao City)
8 p.m. – Alab Pilipinas vs Hong Kong

Alab Pilipinas clinched the third semifinals berth in the ASEAN Basketball League but couldn’t solve its ongoing struggles last Sunday after losing anew to the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions, 83-61, in the ASEAN Basketball League at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.

The home team fell into a deep hole right from the onset against a Long Lions squad that had a variety of contributors, thus sustaining their third consecutive defeat and five of the last six to drop to an even 9-9 record.

Alab suffered its worst defeat of the season, no thanks to a 30-percent shooting and an inconsistent defense that couldn’t solve Hong Kong’s timely shooting led by Tyler Lamb, Josh Boone and Marcus Elliott.

Lamb, a Thai-American who could represent Thailand in the Southeast Asian Games, torched Alab for five triples on his way to a game-high 24 points to lead Hong Kong to its 10th straight win, tying last year’s Singapore Slingers for the second longest winning streak behind the 16 of the 2013 champion San Miguel Beermen.

Boone, who in 2014 played for San Miguel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, had 23 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks while Marcus Elliott bucked a 4-of-16 shooting for 18 points, including an impossible reverse layup at the buzzer for a 48-28 halftime lead.

Fil-American Lawrence Domingo had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Alab, which hours before the game secured a playoff berth after the Kaohsiung Truth lost to the Slingers.

The fifth place Truth dropped to 5-12, thus allowing Alab to earn a free ride to the semis. However, the team of coach Mac Cuan is two games off the fourth place Saigon Heat, who are at 6-10.