By Jonas Terrado

San Miguel Alab Pilipinas atoned for its disappointing midweek loss on the road by defeating the lowly Saigon Heat 82-75 Sunday in the ASEAN Basketball League at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.

Nick King scored 18 of his 26 points in San Miguel Alab Pilipinas' home win over the Saigon Heat. (Photo from ABL)

Nick King scored 18 of his 26 points in San Miguel Alab Pilipinas’ home win over the Saigon Heat. (Photo from ABL)

Import Nick King scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half as Alab led by a high of 23 before staving off the Heat’s late comeback bid to bounce back from Wednesday’s 91-63 defeat to the Kuala Lumpur Dragons.

King also had 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals, 7-foot-5 Sam Deguara and Jeremiah Gray scored 15 and 13 points while point guard Jason Brickman dished out 14 assists to put Alab in solo second at 9-5.

Alab leapfrogged the Taipei Fubon Braves after the Taiwanese side fell on the road to the Singapore Slingers 106-99 at the OCBC Arena in the ABL’s other game.

Fubon, which lost for the second straight time, dropped to third at 9-6.

The result also gives Alab a positive approach entering a 10-day break caused by the rescheduling of the Feb. 16 home game against the Macau Black Bears due to travel restrictions caused by the novel coronavirus.

Alab won’t be seeing action until Feb. 19 when it returns to Kuala Lumpur to face the Dragons.

Gray scored the game’s first five points while King put up six in the first period to put Alab ahead 25-15.

King scored eight straight points at one point in the second quarter, helping the Philippine club zoom to a 50-31 lead at the break.

A dunk by Gray gave Alab its biggest margin 60-37 with over six minutes to go in the third, the game seemed to be all but a mere formality.

But the Vietnamese club made things interesting late as Dang Khoa Tran scored seven straight and import Sam Thompson cut it to four 79-75 on two foul shots with 40 seconds remaining.

Deguara, however, converted a slam on the ensuing possession to assure Alab of its third win in the last four outings.

Saigon dropped to 3-10 despite a game-high 32 points from Thompson.

The scores:

ALAB PILIPINAS 82 — King 26, Deguara 15, Gray 13, Heading 9, Domingo 6, Brickman 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Williams 2, Vigil 2, Caracut 0, Aban 0, Rangel 0.

SAIGON 75 — Thompson 32, Taylor 15, White 10, Tran 7, Young 5, Dierker 2, Nguyen 2, Dinh 2.

Quarters: 25-15; 50-31; 71-54; 82-75.

Source: Manila Bulletin