Fired-up Alab eye second win vs Thais
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After smothering Mono Vampire in overtime late Sunday night, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas now tries to make it two in a row before its home crowd in Sta. Rosa, Laguna tomorrow to put tremendous pressure on the Thai team going to Game Three of the ABL best-of-five finals over in Thailand Saturday.

Alab is determined to get going after surviving a four-point deficit late in regulation then blasting Mono Vampire in overtime for a 143-130 win in a high-scoring match in Game One at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.

“I was amazed with the offensive showing we put on in a 45-minute game. I’m definitely not happy giving up 130 points, but I’m proud of our guys,” said Alab coach Jimmy Alapag after their wondrous Game One showing.

Justin Brownlee came through with an ABL final-record 46 points and nearly collected a rare triple-double game with 11 rebounds and nine assists while Renaldo Balkman played as big as he cut the 7-foot-5 Mono Vampire center Samuel Deguara down to size.

Balkman nailed the game-tying shot in regulation play and roared on in overtime to finish with 39 points and 15 rebounds.

Bobby Ray Parks formed part of the deadly Alab triumvirate in Game One with the former NU Bulldog getting away with 27 points including 3-of-6 three-pointers.

“In all my years of being involved in professional basketball, I’ve never seen and never been part of a game like what you saw tonight,” said Alapag after the match.

“But I know we have to be much, much better on Wednesday,” he added.

Another win Wednesday, and the Filipinos have a chance to wrap up the crown on Mono Vampire’s home turf in Game Three Saturday or Game Four Monday. Game Five, if necessary, is back in Alab’s turf on May 2.

On the yeoman jobs of Brownlee, Balkman and Parks, Alab Pilipinas came to within two wins of a first ABL crown for the Philippines in five years.

The Philippine Patriots of now Cong. Mikee Romero ruled the inaugural ABL tourney in 2010 before Asi Taulava and June Mar Fajardo joined forces to lead San Miguel Beer to the ABL championship in 2013.

ABL BASKETBALL MONO VAMPIRE SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS
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