STA. ROSA, Laguna – The Mono Vampire Basketball Club evened up the Asean Basketball League (ABL) finals with a 103-100 heartbreaker over San Miguel Alab Pilipinas at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna, Wednesday, April 25.
Tension rose even in the payoff period, with both teams see-sawing with the lead in the last three minutes. With 1:45 left in regulation, Renaldo Balkman gave Alab a momentary 96-95 lead but Mike Singletary answered right back with a cold-blooded trey for Mono, 98-96.
Newly crowned MVP Ray Parks then tied it up 98-all before Deguara bullied his way to an and-one, 101-98.
With exactly a minute to go, Balkman drained two charities to close within one, 100-101. Parks blew the midrange in the next possession as JR Alabanza was forced to foul Zamar, who sank his two charities for the 103-100 lead. Off the timeout with 15.4 seconds left, Alab turned to Brownlee, who blew a potential game-tying three.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series will be played on Saturday, April 28, in Bangkok.
The Thais got off to a fast 14-6 start off the two triples by local marksman Darongpan Apiromvilaichai, but the home team Alab rebounded with a 14-3 run, 20-19, highlighted by a trademark Justin Brownlee jam.
Apiromvilaichai continued his hot streak in the second quarter, draining another three and giving Mono a 10-point lead with an easy layup, 44-34. Parks was able to drain two foul shots as time expired to close the gap at the half to 7, 45-52.
Off the intermission, it was all Deguara dominance for the Mono side, scoring 8 easy points with no answer on the home side as the Vamps went ahead by 9, 64-55. However, Josh Urbiztondo turned up the heat to a fever pitch, draining three long bombs to inch within 3, 66-63. Balkman then finally knotted it up at 66 with an and-one that blew the roof off.
Brownlee punctuated the run with a go-ahead corner triple for the 69-68 lead. However, Mono’s Heritage import Paul Zamar silenced the hometown crowd with his own triples and ended the quarter 78-73 in favor of Mono. – Rappler.com
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