The stage is set for the ABL Finals as the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas take on the Mono Vampire Basketball Club in a titanic best-of-five series.
Gametime is set for 8PM local time in Sta. Rosa Arena, Laguna City, Philippines
For the first time in ABL History, the lower-seeded teams defy the odds, sweeping the top two teams in the semis to arrange an all-Southeast Asian duel for the title. Alab got the better off the defending champions Hong Kong EasternBasketball Team to book the first seat in the Finals. Mono meanwhile defeated top seed Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club, including a buzzer-beating finish by Sam Deguara in Game 2 of their match.
This will be the first time since 2011 that a team from the Philippines and Thailand will meet in the ABL Finals. Seven years ago, the Chang Thailand Slammers defeated the AirAsia Philippine Patriots to become champions.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas swept Mono Vampire Basketball Club in two matches in the elimination round. The first match saw San Miguel Alab Pilipinas win in a route, 114-87 at Stadium 29 in Bangkok City. But it was a much closer affair in their second match, as San Miguel Alab Pilipinas escaped in a thriller of a win, 86-84 at the Baliwag Star Arena in the Philippines.
Leading the way for Mono Vampire is the inside-outside punch of Jason Brickman and Mike Singletary. The former ABL Finals MVP Brickman has took his game to a different level in the Playoffs, exploding for 15.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 10.8 assists in two games versus Chong Son Kung Fu. His incredible court vision has been on full display all season long, and he’s had a an excellent target in World Import teammate Mike Singletary.
The sweet shooting forward of Mono Vampire busted out for 23 points and 13 rebounds, helping Mono Vampire in their 4th quarter comeback vs Chong Son Kung Fu. He’s determined to deliver a championship to Thailand, alongside talented teammates Sam Deguara, Paul Zamar and local stars Chitchai Ananti and Darongpan Apiromvilachai.
Standing in the way of the 4th seed Mono Vampire is the red hot San Miguel Alab Pilipinas. The Philippine-based squad dethroned the defending champions Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team, ensuring a new champion would be crowned this season.
Renaldo Balkman has made a late surge to the top of the World Import MVP discussion because of his stellar play, particular in the Playoffs. Balkman averaged 26.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3 steals, backing up his strong words about upsetting the defending champions.
The reigning Local MVP Ray Parks will also be featured heavily in this series. Parks is having another excellent season, tallying 15.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals. He has been the swiss army knife of San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, and will look to deliver a championship to the Philippines in his first time in the ABL Finals.
Will San Miguel Alab Pilipinas protect homecourt, or will Mono Vampire steal homecourt advantage? An epic ABL Finals series is set to begin on Sunday.