Although San Miguel Alab Pilipinas' starters closed out Formosa Dreamers with a big fourth quarter, coach Jimmy Alapag said his squad could not have done it without the bench.
Alab used a 21-3 run to overturn a 65-69 deficit and take an 86-72 win over Dreamers at the Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna on Friday.
"I felt like tonight (Friday) was a great early season test for us considering we had to start late in the season. Formosa was off and running from the start. They've been playing really well. For the most part of the game, we were trying to find our way," said Alapag, whose team extended its perfect start to the season with a 3-0 record.
"It's just one of the type of games that we had to keep pushing."
It was not just any other game for Alab. Formosa, led by Malcolm Miller, came into the game with a 6-1 card.
While his starters were taking a breather in the third, the second stringers kept the team afloat by keeping Alab within close range of the sweet-shooting visitors.
Paolo Javelona found his range and finished with 11 points. Even
Josh Urbiztondo, Lawrence Domingo and Brandon Rosser made significant contributions.
"Our bench played great. Their energy, Josh came in with shots. Brandon and Lo were great. Grabbed rebounds just for the energy. I though they bought our starters enough time to finish the game," said Alapag.
Renaldo Balkman led the way for Alab's third straight win with 19 points, while Puerto Rican behemoth PJ Ramos, and 2-time ABL Most Valuable Player Parks had 16 and 13, respectively.
But Alab has no time to rest and recover, as they needed to prepare for their game against Singapore Slingers on Sunday.
The match will take place at 8 p.m. at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
"I'm happy with our start but we still have work to do. We'll keep working, keep doing our best to improve and prepare for Sunday," said Alapag.
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