ABL FINALS: Mono Vampire Thailand lives another day, forces rubber match vs Alab Pilipinas

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Alab Pilipinas failed to finish off Mono Vampire Thailand in its home turf as the Thais extended the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals series to Game 5 after an 88-85 victory on Monday, April 30, 2018 in Bangkok Thailand.

Mono Vampire survives Alab Pilipinas to force a win or go home game number 5 on Wednesday
Mono Vampire survives Alab Pilipinas to force a win or go home game number 5 on Wednesday | Photo Credit: Asean Basketball League

It was the colossal Sam Deguara who opened up the 1st quarter of game 4. Alab Pilipinas however, fired back with an 8-0 scoring run to take the early lead.

Ray Parks Jr. and Oping Sumalinog took their shots from the deep but was countered by Mono Vampire to get the lead back under 2 minutes of the opener.

Chitchai Ananti played a huge role in the defensive end on the dying seconds of the first and wrapped up the quarter with a corner trey for the 23-18 Mono Vampire advantage.

Ray Parks Jr.’s triple and Renaldo Balkman’s easy basket at the start of the 2nd period for the equalizer panicked Coach Doug Marty. The American Coach called a mandatory timeout and re-inserted his prized center to reinstate their team’s 5-point margin.

Alab had recorded 13 turnovers in the 1st quarter and more was added up in the second that paved way for Thailand to maintain its lead.

Despite the costly turnovers by Alab Pilipinas, the Philippine team just trailed the Thais by 3 points, 45-42 after the 1st half. Ray Parks Jr. led all scorers with 11.

Alab imports became aggressive as they started the 3rd quarter. Sam Deguara however, was still a stiff mountain to climb for the Nationals. The 7’5” behemoth played so well in this game and managed to avoid a foul trouble unlike his previous games.

Renaldo Balkman committed his 4th personal foul with 3 more minutes left in the period. Nevertheless, Alab was able to regain the lead without the Puerto Rican-American import.

The game was tied at 69 apiece after the 3rd quarter with Ray Parks Jr. leading the way for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.

Turnovers were still Alab’s biggest concerns as they entered the final canto of game 4. In just couple of minutes, Thailand’s lead ramped-up to 6. Aside from the miscues, Law Domingo also obtained his 4th personal.

At the 2-minute warning, Thailand’s lead was 5, 86-81. Alab tried to get closer as the clock slowly died down.

Mono’s heritage import, Paul Zamar made it a 2-possession, 88-85 ballgame with a floater and left Alab Pilipinas with 17 seconds.

Philippines didn’t convert a point during its last possession and Thailand officially forced a do-or-die game number 5 on Wednesday, May 2 at the Sta. Rosa Multi Purpose Complex.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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