San Miguel Alab Pilipinas was able to hold off the Mono Vampire Basketball Club, taking a 143-130 overtime victory in Game One of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals.
Both teams came out swinging right out of the gate, started off with a fastbreak layup by Alab Pilipinas’ Renaldo Balkman and a long three from Pao Javelona, but a quick counter through a putback layup by Samuel Deguara and a Darongphan Apiromvilaichai corner three to helped Mono Vampire tie the game early.
A personal 12-0 run by Mono Vampire’s Mike Singletary gave Mono Vampire a six-point lead, 32-26 to close the opening quarter, but five quick points by Justin Brownlee opened the second canto for Alab Pilipinas as they cut the lead back to one.
Paul Zamar made back-to-back threes late in the second quarter, including a four-point play to give them a five-point lead, but Alab Pilipinas was able to weather the storm. Ray Parks drilled a three at the halftime buzzer to take back the lead for Alab Pilipinas, 59-58.
Alab Pilipinas’ Renaldo Balkman finished the first half with 21 points and six rebounds, while Mike Singletary led the way for Mono Vampire with 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Both teams continued to go neck-to-neck in the second half, each scoring 121 points to end the fourth quarter. The difference came down to Mono Vampire playing without both Sam Deguara and Jason Brickman, and struggling to stop the duo of Balkman and Brownlee in the extra period, allowing the Philippine team to finally pull away.
Alab Pilipinas’ Justin Brownlee barely missed out on a triple-double, but was spectacular nonetheless as he scored 46 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished out nine assists to pace the team in the victory.
World import Renaldo Balkman was no less impressive with his 39 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and two blocked shots. Reigning Local Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks Jr. added 27 points himself before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
Mike Singletary led Mono Vampire with 42 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, while big man Sam Deguara played through foul trouble and added 21 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocked shots.
Heritage import Jason Brickman led the Mono Vampire attack with 15 points and 14 assists before going out late in the game with cramps, while his backcourt partner Paul Zamar finished with 25 points in the losing effort.
Alab Pilipinas continues to hold home-court advantage in the best-of-five championship series, meaning they will host the second game, and also a fifth game on their home floor if necessary.
Both teams will return to the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna, Philippines on April 25 (Wednesday) for Game Two of the ABL Finals.