STA. ROSA, Laguna - Still feeling the effects of getting bitten by the injury bug, Alab Pilipinas lost more than just their matchup with Formosa in the 2018-2019 Asean Basketball League.
Unable to overcome the continued absence of three key cogs, the Filipinos surrendered a 74-88 decision to visiting Formosa at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex, Sunday.
Back-to-back Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. and Puerto Rican powerhouse PJ Ramos got the Philippines to a strong start and they even got a two-point lead, 42-40, early in the third.
It was at that point, however, that William Artino, Tevin Glass, and Malcolm Miller got together to drown Alab in a 21-4 tsunami that pushed Formosa way ahead, 61-46, late in the quarter.
The home team could only come as close as 11 for the remainder of the game as they continued to miss the production of Renaldo Balkman as well as the contributions of Lo Domingo and Brandon Rosser.
In the end, Parks and Ramos still gave it their all, with the former finishing with 24 points, seven rebounds, five assists and the latter ending with 22 markers, nine boards, and two dimes.
No other Filipino player was in double-digits, however.
With that, they were dealt their very first defeat at home after 12 wins in a row.
More importantly, the Philippines’ third straight setback drops its record to 18-7 - out of the top spot and now at solo second.
Taking their place at first are the Dreamers to improved to 18-6.
Alab, depleted as they are, still has a fighting chance for the top-seed. For that to happen, they need to take care of business against Saigon a week from now in Vietnam.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.