It was another incredible display of grit and determination by two teams, but this time around, it was the Mono Vampire Basketball Club who carved out the victory.
The Thailand team did just enough to muster a 103-100 win against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on Wednesday at the Sta Rosa Multi Purpose Complex in Laguna, Philippines, to even the series with one win apiece.
“Obviously we’re thrilled and pleased to come out here and come out with a win especially after the first game,” coach Douglas Marty said.
Sam Deguara showcased his towering presence as he had a monster double-double of 30 points and 20 rebounds. Fortunately for Mono, he was able to avoid fouling out and finish the game strong. Michael Singletary had an all-around game of 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists.
“So proud of the team,” beamed Marty.
Just like Game 1, it was another fierce battle between the two finalists. Game 2 featured 12 lead changes and 10 deadlocks, a testament to the back-and-forth contest.
As Mono kept pushing the the pace, Alab’s Justin Brownlee sat out in the fourth quarter due to a leg injury.
The game was tied at 98 under a minute and a half remaining. But Deguara proved to be too much to handle for Alab as the 7-foot-5 center converted on and-1 play to give Mono a slim three-point lead.
After a pair of free throws by Renaldo Balkman to cut the deficit to just one, Ray Parks failed to knock down the go-ahead basket.
With 15 seconds left on the clock, Paul Zamar hit two clutch free throws, giving Mono enough cushion to hold onto the win.
Brownlee reentered the game despite his injury, hoping to have another magical ending similar to Game 1. Unfortunately, the Alab import missed two attempts from beyond the arc as time expired.
Balkman, who was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year prior to the game, finished with 37 points and 12 rebounds to lead Alab while two-time Local MVP Ray Parks netted 21 points.
The series now shifts to Thailand for Game 3 on Saturday, April 28.