The historic ASEAN Basketball League season will need one more game to determine a champion.
The Mono Vampire Basketball Club refused to hand over the trophy to the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas pulling out an 88-83 victory on Monday at Stadium 29 in Bangkok, forcing a deciding fifth game.
“Another thrilling game in a thrilling series. My first thoughts are, really, really proud of the team,” said a relieved and proud coach Douglas Marty.
Michael Singletary filled the stats sheet with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and five steals. Sam Deguara, who even battled fatigue midway through the fourth period, still managed to put up a double-double of 20 points, 13 rebounds, and was once again an anchor on defense with 5 blocks.
“It was by far our best game defensively. It’s like a war of attrition,” Marty observed.
Although they boast the number offense in the league, Mono proved that they too can play a defensive game. They forced Alab to 26 turnovers, 19 off which came in the first half alone. They also limited the Philippine squad to just 40 percent shooting.
For Alab, Parks led the scoring with 21 points, while adding 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman had identical outputs of 18 points and 13 rebounds. Unfortunately for Alab, they accounted for 15 of the team’s turnovers.
Despite Alab’s struggles on offense, they still had a chance to win the game and end the series. Brownlee’s free throws with a little over a minute remaining made it into a three-point game. But Paul Zamar didn’t want their last game to be in front of their home crowd.
The Filipino provided the dagger to his country, swishing a tough floater to keep Alab at bay.
“I didn’t look at it as redemption,” shared Zamar who was on the losing end the previos game when Parks hit a fadeaway on him. “But as survival because the season was on the line.”
The season will come down to Game 5 this Wednesday at the Sta. Rosa Multi Purpose Complex in the Philippines.
“We’re really, really pleased, [but] we can’t be satisfied because this isn’t over,” Marty said. “It’s gonna take our best game of the year to close out Game 5 in the Philippines.”