Even without all of Renaldo Balkman, Lo Domingo, Brandon Rosser, and Caelan Tiongson, Alab Pilipinas did their best to keep up with Formosa on Sunday at the Changhua Stadium in Taiwan.
In the end, though, the undermanned Filipinos ran out of gas and fell behind to the fully loaded Dreamers, 71-79, in the showdown between the top two teams in the 2018-2019 Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Visiting Philippines was missing four of its key cogs as Balkman, Domingo, Rosser, and Tiongson a;; were battling various injuries.
Still, behind back-to-back Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. and Puerto Rican powerhouse PJ Ramos, they were able to build up a four-point lead, 63-59, after three quarters.
It was at that point, though, that Will Artino and Malcolm Miller connived for a 12-4 run that put Formosa ahead, 71-66, early in the final frame.
Parks kept coming for Alab and his short stab pulled them just within 71-73 inside the last three minutes.
Artino and Miller had the answer at both ends, though, and the Dreamers scored six unanswered points to wrap up their seventh in a row.
On the other hand, the Filipinos saw their three-game win run come to a close despite the best efforts of Parks who wound up with 27 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Ramos also posted a 12-marker, 10-board double-double.
The loss sent the Philippines to 18-5 -- still alone atop the leaderboard.
Still, Formosa just became the first team in the tournament to down Alab twice. The former is also now breathing down the necks of the latter for the top-seed now nearing the playoffs.
FORMOSA DREAMERS 79 -- Glass 27, Miller 18, Artino 16, Chen 7, Lee 5, Chien 4, Cheng 2, Tien 0, Wu 0.
ALAB PILIPINAS 71 -- Parks 27, Alvano 14, Ramos 12, Urbiztondo 8, Javelona 5, Rivero 4, Sumalinog 1, Alabanza 0, Torres 0.
Quarter scores: 22-26, 35-37, 59-62, 79-71
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.