Mono Vampire forces do-or-die Game 5 over Alab Pilipinas in ABL finals
MANILA, Philippines – The Mono Vampire Basketball Club successfully defended home court when it mattered most, dropping the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, 88-83, at Stadium29 in Bangkok on Monday, April 30, to force a winner-take-all Game 5 back in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Heritage import Paul Zamar drained a floater with 17.9 seconds left in regulation to put Mono up by 5, 88-83. Prior to this, the Thailand-based Mono team opened the 4th quarter with a 10-2 run, 79-71, on the back of 7-foot-5 Sam Deguara’s 6 points in the paint. However, the duo of Renaldo Balkman and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. fished key fouls and drained their free throws to inch with 3, 86-83, in the final minute.
Parks, Jr. stayed hot off his 30-point eruption in Game 3, dropping a team-high 21 points with 8 rebounds and 5 assists in the losing effort.
The World import combo of Balkman and Justin Brownlee, meanwhile, each chipped in 18 points and 13 rebounds, but also combined for 15 of Alab’s 26 turnovers.
Midway through the 3rd, Mono gained steam once again with a running triple from Mike Singletary for the 6 point lead, 62-56, but Pamboy Raymundo answered in kind with his own pull-up trey. Brownlee capped off an 11-5 Alab response with a banking layup, 67-66. Both teams knotted the game at 69 entering the 4th.
Mono broke off with an 8-point lead, 42-34 late in the second quarter, causing Coach Jimmy Alapag to call for time. This timeout worked wonders for the visiting squad as Brownlee and Parks drained triples in consecutive possessions to inch back within two, 42-40. Mono entered the half just up 3, 45-42.
Balkman and Brownlee completely dropped the ball – literally – as they combined for 9 of Alab’s 12 turnovers in the first quarter. Balkman had more giveaways (5) than points (4) to open the game as the home team went ahead by 5 to end the first, 23-18.
Deguara was again an unstoppable force down low with a team-high double-double of 20 points and 13 boards.
Singletary also chipped in 20, with 8 boards and 7 assists to round up a stats sheet-stuffing performance. Filipino-American Heritage import Jason Brickman, who has earned high praises from Alapag, again nailed a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists in the crucial home win.
Mono Vampire (88) – Deguara 20, Singletary 20, Brickman 13, Zamar 11, Apiromvilaichai 9, Chanthachon 6, Ananti 6, Klahan 3
Alab Pilipinas (83) – Parks 21, Balkman 18, Brownlee 18, Domingo 14, Raymundo 5, Sumalinog 3, Urbiztondo 2, Javelona 2, Alabanza 0, Hontiveros 0
Quarter scores: 23-18, 45-42, 69-69, 88-83