The defending champions San Miguel Alab Pilipinas travel to Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand for the first time since their finals matchup against the Mono Vampire Basketball Club last season. The two proud ball clubs faced off earlier this season with the Philippine squad getting the overtime victory at home.
Alab Pilipinas are still the team to beat this season with a league-leading 15-3 record. They’ve won their last two games and are hoping to make it three in a row. Mono Vampire meanwhile saw their three-game winning streak snapped in a tough overtime loss versus the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia last Saturday. After the defeat, they drop to 5-13.
With both teams oozing with talent, one of the more interesting matchups should be Renaldo Balkman going head-to-head with Romeo Travis.
Travis, Mono’s newest reinforcement, is no stranger to Philippine basketball having played in the country’s local league. With a handful of ABL games already under his belt, he’s found his groove as he’s hoisting up 16.2 points and grabbing 12.7 rebounds. The 6-foot-6 forward will most likely be matched up with Balkman as PJ Ramos, should he return to the lineup after dealing with an injury in the previous game, will face Malcolm White at the center position. Balkman’s performance this season puts him in MVP contention with averages of 25.0 points and 10.7 rebounds while maintaining a threat on the defensive end with 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks.
Alab and Mono will add another chapter to their rivalry this Saturday.