KUALA LUMPUR: Joshua Munzon could not stop the Malaysia Dragons from a third consecutive defeat in the Asean Basketball League on his return to the team in a 90-79 loss to Alab Pilipinas in Manila on Wednesday.
Munzon, who played for the Dragons last season, was brought back to replace Reil Cervantes while AJ West came in for fellow American Curtis Washington following a poor start to the season.
Filipino Munzon scored 21 points while West had 16 points and 22 rebounds in a losing cause for the Dragons (1-3), who have not won since beating Mono Vampire in their opening match on Nov 20.
The Dragons returned to action from a month-long break after their last game on Dec 2 but were slow to remove the cobwebs as Alab dominated the opening quarter when the hosts led by as much as 16 points before ending the period with a 23-13 advantage.
Munzon sparked a reaction from the Dragons early in the second quarter with five points in a 7-0 run for the visitors which shaved Alab's lead to three.
However, Alab responded with a 7-0 run of their own to enter the half-time break leading 39-32.
Dragons came out strong in the third quarter as they got to within a point of Alab several times before a three-pointer by Munzon gave the Dragons the lead for the first time at 58-56.
But Justin Brownlee's back-to-back three-pointers saw Alab recover ground to end the third period 68-63 ahead.
Alab began the final quarter with a 11-3 spree in the first three minutes to establish their biggest lead of the game and leave the Dragons floundering.
Brownlee finished with a game-high 29 points as Alab notched their second win in five matches.
The Dragons next travel to Bangkok to face Mono Vampire on Jan 12.