Long Lions Roar: Hong Kong Eastern Fights Back in Game 4 to Win First ABL Title

As the final buzzer inside the OCBC Arena sounded on Sunday, April 23, tears streamed out Josh Boone’s, Marcus Elliott’s, and Tyler Lamb’s eyes.

When they have all left it on the floor to overcome the biggest challenge of their maiden 2016-17 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season, there is nothing left to do but to reflect on what has been a phenomenal journey for the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions.

And it were the Long Lions’ three ace players who delivered in the most important stretch of their ABL season as the squad weathered the Singapore Slingers challenge anew to clinch the ABL championship, winning a thrilling double-overtime Game 4, 82-80 and the series, 3-1.

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Alab's Parks brings back ABL MVP to PH (April 24, 2017)
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Ray Parks Jr. is the third Filipino to be hailed as the MVP - following Leo Avenido and Asi Taulava.

MANILA -- Alab Pilipinas fell short of reclaiming for the Philippines the throne in the Asean Basketball League.

Still, they get for themselves the biggest of consolation prizes.
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Alab main man Ray Parks Jr. was recognized as the Most Valuable Player-Local for the 2016-2017 on Sunday.

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Asean Basketball League Finals Game 3 between Singapore Slingers and Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Slingers have lost the chance to claim the Asean Basketball League (ABL) championship on home soil after they fell 72-76 to Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions on Friday (April 21).

The Slingers now trail the best-of-five ABL Finals 1-2 and face a must-win Game Four on Sunday at the OCBC Arena.

The host had led 17-12 after the first quarter and 40-39 at the interval. But the visitors regrouped and took a 57-56 lead going into the final 10-minute period.

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Long Lions Find Strength in Each Other for Audacious Game 2 Win

At the 2:03 mark of the third quarter, Marcus Elliott was whistled for two straight technical fouls, the biggest development in an intensely fought Game 2 of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals.

One of the top candidates for World Import – MVP in the ABL, Elliott would have to leave for remainder of the game, putting the Long Lions in a dire situation where they could potentially be down 0-2 against a tough Singapore Slingers team.

And just when things looked like it couldn’t possibly get worse, Josh Boone crumpled to the ground with 8:53 still remaining in the final period. Suffering an ankle injury, Boone had to take a seat, with his return uncertain.

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Long Lions Dominate Heat, Break ABL Playoff Records in Lopsided Win

What started out as a close match ended up being the most lopsided win in ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) history, as the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions outclassed the Saigon Heat 114-74, Wednesday night at the Southorn Gym in Wan Chai. The Long Lions, who finished the elimination round on top of the standings, take 1-0 lead in the best-of-three semifinals series.

It was a record-setting win for Hong Kong Eastern as they broke the records for most points scored and largest winning margin in ABL’s playoff history. The home team had four players who scored 21 points or more showing just how loaded the team is on offense.

Marcus Elliott got close to a triple-double with 23 points, 13 assists, and 7 rebounds, even if he played very limited minutes in the fourth quarter as coach Edu Torres emptied out his bench early. Heritage import Tyler Lamb also had 23 points while Josh Boone added 21 points and 11 rebounds.

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Kiefer, Alab don't want to disappoint home crowd in Game 2 (April 05, 2017)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Alab Pilipinas' Kiefer Ravena splits the defense of the Singapore Slingers in Game 1 of their ABL semifinals series. Photo via ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – After falling short in Game 1 of their semifinals duel against the Singapore Slingers, Kiefer Ravena and the rest of Alab Pilipinas are determined to extend their ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) campaign in Game 2 on Friday.

Despite a solid effort from Ravena in his ABL debut, the Slingers came away with a 77-67 victory at the OCBC Arena last Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three semifinals series.

"We fell short. Pangit 'yung umpisa ng game," said Ravena, who had 16 points in the loss. "'Yung mga ginagawa ng Singapore Slingers, napag-aralan na namin 'yun, so kailangan lang namin silang i-execute."

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No room for mistakes in Game 2 for Alab Pilipinas (April 05, 2017)
Dennis Gasgonia [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Coach Mac Cuan and the rest of Alab Pilipinas will go all out on Friday. Photo from ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA -- Alab Pilipinas will need to be perfect when they face the Singapore Slingers in Game 2 of the ASEAN Basketball League semifinals on Friday, according to its coach Mac Cuan.

Alab succumbed to a 77-67 defeat in the series opener of their best-of-3 semis duel last Sunday in Singapore. This is why it is imperative that the Philippine-based squad get the win to avoid elimination.

"We just have to focus, especially now that is is a do-or-die game. There's really no room for mistakes," said Cuan during the PSA Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City on Tuesday.

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