by Jonas Terrado
Game Sunday (Sta. Rosa, Laguna)
8 p.m. — Alab Pilipinas vs Formosa
Defending champion San Miguel Alab Pilipinas once again struggled with a depleted lineup after being handed a 114-84 loss to the Macau Black Bears in the ASEAN Basketball League at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center.
Fil-American Mikh McKinney exploded anew this time for 43 points while American Dewarick Spencer, who helped Mighty Sports win the 2016 Jones Cup, fired 42 points as the Black Bears handed Alab its second straight loss.
The latest setback was actually Alab’s third loss in five games, thus reducing its hold on the top spot to only a half-game off the Formosa Dreamers.
Alab, which holds an 18-6 record, takes on 17-6 Formosa on Sunday at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna in a game that could likely determine which team secures the top spot going into the eight-team playoffs.
Coach Jimmy Alapag’s team played with just nine players in uniform as Alab continues to deal with injuries to Renaldo Balkman and Lawrence Domingo.
Domingo is set to miss the remainder of the regular season due to an MCL sprain.
PJ Ramos had 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists while Josh Urbiztondo added 16 for Alab in the loss.