No Brownlee, no problem as Alab puts away visiting Saigon Heat

STA. ROSA, February 24 ------ Justin Brownlee's conspicuous absence meant little for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas as dispatched the visiting Saigon Heat, 99-79, on Sunday in the 2020 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) at the Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Sports Complex. Sam Deguara was an immovable force for the Philippine side with his 23 points and eight rebounds as he presided over a 31-point second-quarter breakway that enabled the hosts to take hold of a 56-36 halftime lead.

Nick King followed suit, unloading 20 points, 15 boards, seven assists, and two steals in a third-quarter scoring binge that grew the lead to to 24, 72-48, after his layup at the 2:51 mark of the third frame. Lawrence Domingo tallied 18 points and six rebounds alongside a pair of assists, steals, and blocks, as Jason Brickman also did his damage setting up Alab's offense with his 10 points, nine dimes, and two boards in the victory.

Their balanced attack allowed Alab to weather the continued absence of Brownlee, who has yet to arrive to the country despite agreeing to return to the team as its third World Import. Also sitting out the game were Jeremiah Gray and Andrei Caracut, who are both dealing with injuries sustained in their last game, a 92-80 road humiliation against the Kuala Lumpur Dragons last Wednesday. Alab also repeated over Saigon after taking an 82-75 win last Feb. 9 at home. The two teams lock horns anew next Sunday, this time in the Heat's homecourt. Sam Thompson led the cellar-dwelling Saigon with 36 points and 10 rebounds in the loss - the Heat's 11th in 14 games. Khoa Tran sizzled late to notch 18 points, four boards, and three assists, as Malcolm White had 13 points and four rebounds.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 99 -- Deguara 23, King 20, Domingo 18, Brickman 10, Vigil 8, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Heading 7, Rangel 5.

SAIGON HEAT 79 -- Thompson 36, Tran 18, White 13, Taylor 7, Q. Nguyen 3, Dierker 2, Young 0, Dinh 0, Waale 0, T. Nguyen 0.

Quarters: 25-17, 56-36, 75-56, 99-79.