San Miguel Alab Pilipinas suffered its first loss in Season 9 Asean Basketball League (ABL), 71-72, to Westports Malaysia Dragons on Wednesday night at the MABA Stadium in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Heritage Import guard Jonathan Wong’s go-ahead layup sealed the victory for the Dragons with 18.1 seconds remaining.
Filipino-American playmaker Ethan Alvano then committed a turnover via an errant pass.
Despite the defeat, the defending champion Alab Pilipinas remained on top of the 10-team standings with a 5-1 record.
Puerto Rican reinforcement Renaldo Balkman led Alab with a game-high 31 points to go with 14 rebounds, four blocks and three assists while his 7-foot-4 compatriot, center PJ Ramos also posted a double-double of 16 markers and 11 boards.
The two World Imports, however, did not get ample support from their local teammates.
Caelan Tiongson only had six points while back-to-back Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. and Lawrence Domingo had five markers each. The other locals combined for a measly total of eight points.
Jimmy Alapag’s men also struggled from the three-point area, scoring just six triples—a far cry from the 16 treys they’ve notched in their 105-95 beating of Zhuhai Wolf Warriors.
Singaporean-Malaysian guard Wong paced Westports Malaysia with 21 points, including nine markers in the pivotal fourth quarter. He also tallied six rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes of play.
Imports Nnanna Egwu and Chris Eversley chipped in 15 and 12 markers, respectively, on top of a combined 17 rebounds while Shee Fai Loh added 12 points in the win.
The Dragons improved to an even 3-3 slate at No. 7.