ABL: Alab Pilipinas survives Mono Vampire Thailand to extend its winning streak to 6

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Alab Pilipinas relied on its super imports heroic acts to survive Mono Vampire Thailand, 86-84 at the Star Arena in Baliuag Bulacan on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

Alab Pilipinas survives Mono Vampire Thailand to extend its winning streak to 6
Renaldo Balkman’s late drive saved Alab Pilipinas from the scary Mono Vampire Thailand | Photo Courtesy: Asean Basketball League

The last time that these 2 teams met, Alab Pilipinas humiliated Mono Vampire in Thailand. Tonight, Philippines aimed to replicate its victory in front of its home court and continue its winning streak.

Sam Deguara’s gigantic presence in the middle became an early problem for Alab as the Thais posted their early lead of 10-2. Coach Jimmy Alapag had enough and called a timeout.

Alab bounced back from a sloppy start after the untimely ceasefire spearheaded by Justin Brownlee and Josh Urbiztondo who both ignited the crowd with their three pointers and snatched the lead away from Mono Vampire.

San Miguel Alab Pilipinas held onto its 22-18 thin advantage until the end of the opening period.

Justin Brownlee lighted it all up in the beginning of the 2nd period as the country’s most popular import unleashed more treys and blocked shots on the other end. Alab hit the double-digit lead, 33-20 with over 6 minutes left in the quarter.

In just less than a minute, Alab’s lead was brought down to just 6 as Sam Deguara re-entered the floor and owned the shaded lead.

Aside from Deguara’s dominance underneath the basket, misses and turnovers started to pile up for Alab Pilipinas that gave an opportunity for Mono Vampire to tie the game at 38-all with 1:22 left in the half.

Filipino-American Jason Brickman ended the 1st half with a floater and for the lead. 40-38 in favor of Mono Vampire Thailand.

The Filipinos started the 3rd quarter with an 8-0 scoring blitz courtesy of super imports Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman. The run was also followed-up by a Bobby Parks Jr. to Lawrence Domingo alley-oop play that made the crowd jump off their seats.

Thailand’s titan, Sam Deguara, committed his 3rd foul of the game and was taken out immediately to preserve his remaining personals in the final canto. But his partner, ex-PBA import, Mike Singletary took over the scoring chores for Mono Vampire and managed to trim the Alab lead to just 1, 60-59 with 2:38 remaining.

Former Ateneo Eagle, Oping Sumalinog closed the penultimate quarter with a long bomb for an 8-point, 68-60 Alab Pilipinas lead.

Both squads were too quiet as they unfolded the final chapter of the game. While everyone was quiet, Mono Vampire’s heritage import and Filipino Paul Zamar took the chance to showcase his talents and helped his team cut the lead.

Thailand totally snapped Alab’s lead at the 5:34 mark. Coach Alapag pushed the panic button and burned another timeout.

Just as badly needed, Justin Brownlee launched another outside bomb and a steal to swing the lead back to Alab’s side.

Justin Brownlee found the wide-opened Josh Urbiztondo on the right corner for a sure triple and 3-point advantage with less than a minute left. Right after Urbiztondo’s big shot, Mike SIngletary hit a trey of his of own for the equalizer.

Alab had 19.2 to make the last shot. Justin Brownlee took the ball and intended to melt the clock. With 4 ticks left in the clock, Brownlee found the cutting Renaldo Balkman in the center and the Puerto Rican made the shot for the lead 86-84.

Mike Singletary attempted a jumpshot to send the game into an overtime but he was clearly denied by Justin Brownlee and Mono Vampire Thailand officially bowed down to San Miguel Alab Pilipinas for the 2nd time.

Alab Pilipinas improved its record to 9-4 while Mono Vampire Thailand fell to 9-5 in the league standings.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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