San Miguel Alab Pilipinas took down the Mono Vampire Basketball Club in the final game of the series, 102-92, successfully clinching the 2017-18 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Championship on their home floor.
Alab Pilipinas came out on fire and quickly raced to a 12-4 lead within the first four minutes, with eight of those points coming in from world import Renaldo Balkman. They were able to close the first quarter with a 13-point lead after limiting the league’s best offensive team to just 14 points.
The home team continued to play swarming defense to open the second quarter, eventually taking their biggest lead of the game, 39-23, with 7:01 remaining in the second quarter with a Justin Brownlee three-point shot. Mono Vampire import Mike Singletary hit a running bank-shot at the halftime buzzer to cut the lead to single digits, 54-45.
Renaldo Balkman led all scorers in the first half with 21 points, while also adding five rebounds and four assists. Justin Brownlee was the only other Alab Pilipinas in double digits with 14 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Both imports shot an impressive 60 percent from the floor during the first half.
Mono Vampire big man Samuel Deguara already had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Mike Singletary and Paul Zamar added 14 and 10 respectively.
The Thai club was able to cut the lead down to as low as five points early in the third quarter, but the Filipino squad continued to pour in the points. They took their biggest lead of the game after Renaldo Balkman split his free throws with 19.2 seconds remaining, 82-58.
Justin Brownlee helped Alab Pilipinas break the century-mark with a fastbreak layup, giving them a 15-point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Renaldo Balkman finished with 32 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals, while fellow world import Justin Brownlee had 24 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.
Reigning two-time ABL Local Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks Jr. was also awarded the Finals MVP. He had 13 points and four assists before fouling out late in the game.
Mike Singletary led Mono Vampire in scoring with 32 points, while Sam Deguara had 24 points and 18 rebounds. Heritage import Paul Zamar added 19 markers in the loss.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas is the first team from the Philippines to win the ABL plum since the San Miguel Beermen won title in the 2012-13 season.