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AJ Mandani comes up big in the clutch as Slingers take down Alab

There was no love lost between the Singapore Slingers and Tanduay Alab Pilipinas in their second meeting in just a span of four days.

In another back-and-forth battle, it was the Slingers’ turn to come out victorious, carving out a 90-80 win over Alab on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Philippines.

AJ Mandani was the man of the hour, scoring 11 of his 23 points in the pivotal fourth quarter. He ended up with 6 triples, to go along with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Chris Charles had a monster game of 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting while also grabbing 15 rebounds.

The game was knotted up at 64 apiece after three quarters but the Slingers went into another gear. They started the period on an 11-2 run showing poise and efficiency on both ends of the floor.

A jumper by Xavier Alexander pushed the Slingers’ lead to eight points, 84-76 with two minutes remaining. However, his bucket was met with confusion and rage from the Philippine squad. The home team contested a non-called shot clock violation prior to the basket. A technical foul was called on Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag, much to the dismay of the home crowd.

Mandani calmly converted on the technical free throw. Afterwards, he delivered the dagger with a booming three-pointer with a minute remaining to give the Slingers an 88-76 advantage.

For Alab, Renaldo Balkman was the team’s leading scorer with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Justin Brownlee also had a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards. The Philippines was outscored by Singapore, 16-26, in the final frame that led to their downfall.

The Slingers were able to arrest their two-game skid as they improve to a 4-5 record. Meanwhile, Alab’s three-game winning streak comes to a close and have to settle for a 3-4 standing.


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