by Jonas Terrado
Game Sunday (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
6 p.m. – Saigon vs Alab Pilipinas
Justin Brownlee exploded for 36 points in another sterling performance since arriving earlier this month as Tanduay Alab Pilipinas continued its impressive January run with a 92-87 victory over the CLS Knights Saturday night in the ASEAN Basketball League at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Brownlee made 15 of 24 shots while adding eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 37 minutes to help Alab pull away in the fourth quarter for its fourth win in five games since making his debut earlier this month.
Fellow world import Renaldo Balkman had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Ray Parks Jr. produced another solid outing with 14 points and Dondon Hontiveros made all five points in the payoff period to keep Alab in fifth place with a 5-4 record.
Coach Jimmy Alapag and the rest of Alab trail the Saigon Heat for fourth place in the team standings. The Filipino side will take on the Heat on Sunday in Ho Chi Minh City.
After facing Saigon to cap off a three-game road swing, Alab returns home on Jan. 31 to host crack Chinese squad Chong Son Kung Fu in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Brian Williams, who helped San Miguel win the 2013 ABL crown, scored 22 points while Indonesian national team mainstays Sandy Kurniawan and Mario Wuysang added 19 and 17 points, respectively, but CLS dropped to 1-7.
Alab blew a 29-18 lead after the first quarter and figured CLS in a tight encounter for the next two periods.
But Brownlee, Balkman, Parks and Hontiveros scored Alab’s first 16 points of the fourth while holding CLS to just six to take an 85-73 lead, over three minutes left to play.