Tough back-to-back bid for Alab Pilipinas as ABL continues to grow

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil But Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag knows it’s best for his team to avoid looking too far ahead.“You can run away from it. The ABL is growing and is continuing to improve the last nine years and no one has won back-to-back,” Alapag told INQUIRER.net on Tuesday in a press conference at Marriott Hotel.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“We’re aware of it and it’s something that we acknowledge, but I just want our guys focusing on every day trying to get better and putting ourselves in the position that each day we get closer to our goal which is to be back in the finals,” he said.Getting there won’t be easy especially with the rest of the league extra motivated to take down the defending champions. Teams in the 9th season of the ASEAN Basketball League. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNo team in the ASEAN Basketball League has won back-to-back championships.San Miguel Alab Pilipinas hopes to be the first to pull off the historic feat as they defend their crown in the upcoming 2018-19 ABL Season.ADVERTISEMENT View comments LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MOST READ Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Teaming up with Balkman as Alab’s other World Import is the hulking PJ Ramos while Filipino-Americans Caelan Tiongson, Brandon Rosser and Ethan Alvano and former La Salle slotman Prince Rivero complete the squad.The tireless Tiongson, who does a little bit of everything, was brought in by Alapag from Chong Son Kung Fu, which has relocated to Macau and will now be known as the Macau Black Bears in the coming season.The ABL also welcomed its newest member in China’s Zhuhai Wolf Warriors, expanding the league to 10 teams.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal “Winning back-to-back titles has never been done and that alone explains everything. It’s going to be tough because we have a bullseye on our back,” said Alab swingman Ray Parks, who is the reigning two-time Local MVP.“We all heard in there that everyone’s saying that the Philippine team is so strong but I’m not reading too much into that,” Alapag said.“Every team has gotten better and as the defending champions, you’re going to get every team’s best shot whether it’s Hong Kong or Formosa.”The core players from last year’s championship run with the exception of Justin Brownlee, are back for Alab.Aside from Parks, Renaldo Balkman, Pamboy Raymundo, Josh Urbiztondo, Lawrence Domingo, Paolo Javelona, Rob Celiz, Oping Sumalinog and JR Alabanza are ready for Alab’s title-retention bid, which begins with a home game against the CLS Knights Indonesia at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex in Laguna on December 9.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown PH’s Youth Olympic Games campaign ends with 1 silver as golfers, archer bow out Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more