WITH the way the defending champion San Miguel Alab Pilipinas import Renaldo Balkman is playing this season, the Cebuanos should be in for a good show when the host team collides with the Zuhai Wolf Warriors in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at the Lapu-Lapu Hoopsdome on Sunday, Jan. 6.
Alab Pilipinas, coached by former national team skipper Jimmy Alapag, will play in Cebu for the first time, bringing exciting players like Balkman, PJ Ramos and PBA-bound Bobby Ray Parks Jr.
The former National Basketball Assoiation (NBA) player Balkman, who was picked 20th overall by the New York Knicks in the 2006 draft, is having a good season for the Alab Pilipinas with an average of 27 points per game, which is fourth best in the league. Balkman, who was a former import of San Miguel Beermen in PBA, is also making his presence in the board by grabbing 14.7 rebounds per game next to league-leader Ryan Watkins who has an average of 16.1 rebounds.
The 6-foot-8 forward Balkman led Alab Pilipinas to a seven-point win over Singapore Slingers before the Christmas break to keep their undefeated record intact after four games.
Another player to watch out for is import PJ Ramos, also a former NBA player who was drafted 32nd overall by the Washington Wizards in 2004. The 33-year-old center is handing 21.8 points per game for the Alab Pilipinas.
Parks, the No.2 overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie draft, is also a strong presence for the team as the third highest scorer with 12.8 per outing.
Alab Pilipinas, though, will be taking on the struggling Warriors which have won only once in nine games and is the cellar-dweller on this season with a 1-8 (win-loss) record.
After opening the season with 0-7 card, the Warriors finally got their act together for their first win on the expense of CSL Knighs Indonesia, 96-88, on Dec. 19 last year.
Chen Cai is the leading scorer for the Warriors with 17.8 points per contest, while Eric Tisby averages 16 points and Mike Bell has 15.7 points with 12 rebounds.
Aside from the main game, there will be other ABL teams that will play on the same day. Western Malaysia Dragons will face Hong Kong Eastern, Formosa Dreamers will battle Singapore Slingers, while Saigon Heat will play Mono Vampire.
The ticket for the match is P500 for the lower box and P300 for the upper box. RSC