Leaning on the heroic efforts of reigning two-time Local MVP Ray Parks, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas pulled out a 99-93 Game 3 victory over the Mono Vampire Basketball Club on Saturday at Stadium 29 in Bangkok.
With a minute remaining in the game and Alab managing a three-point advantage, Parks converted on a tough step-back jumper over the outstretched arms of Paul Zamar, silencing the raucous crowd.
The Philippine team is now one win away from claiming the 2017-2018 ASEAN Basketball League title.
“I’ve said a lot this season but I’m just really proud of these guys,” said a relieved but still very proud coach Jimmy Alapag. “They’ve been a resilient group throughout and tonight was just another opportunity to show that.”
“It was just a crazy sequence. It’s just my teammates really,” Parks revealed on his late-game basket over Zamar. “They trust me to make shots. Balkman made it clear yesterday that we just had to hit our shots.”
Lawrence Domingo provided the icing on the cake, providing the dagger with 28 seconds left to give Alab a 97-90 lead off a reverse layup.
Parks led all scorers with 30 points and provided clutch baskets all throughout the fourth quarter. His production on Saturday was also the most by a local in ABL postseason history. Justin Brownlee meanwhile fought off his apparent injury in Game 2 and came out with a 27-point, 12-rebound game. And just as impressive, Renaldo Balkman had an all-around game of 24 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists.
For Mono, Michael Singletary towed his team with 29 points. The World Import nearly single-handedly dragged Mono to a win but in every run, Parks was there to answer.
Sam Deguara meanwhile was hounded all-game long and was humbled with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Deguara had 30 points and 20 rebound in Game 2 but Alab was determined to limit the 7-foot-5 center this time around.
“That is a very, very good team on the other side, very, very well-coached,” commended Alapag. “And we knew were going into a hostile environment, and I just wanted to make sure we just stuck to the game plan.”
Game 4 is set this Monday where Alab will look to take home the ABL crown.