The second Quarterfinals matchup in the ABL unfolds as the 4th seeded Mono Vampire Basketball Club tangle with the 5th seed Singapore Slingers.
Mono Vampire was tied with Hong Kong Eastern and San Miguel Alab Pilipinas at 14-6, but by virtual of tiebreakers, the Thailand-based squad saw itself out of the outright Semis. As a result, they will have to go through the tough Singapore Slingers, eager to make it’s third straight ABL Finals appearance.
Mono Vampire swept the season series against the Slingers, winning both games this season.
The main theme of this Playoff series will be offense versus defense. Mono Vampire is the most explosive squad offensively amongst the teams in the Quarterfinals, boasting an explosive scorer in Mike Singletary, a terrorizing presence in the paint in Sam Deguara, and arguably the most brilliant passer in ABL history in Jason Brickman.
Mike Singletary has fit in like a glove for Mono Vampire. His steady presence and explosive scoring is a huge reason for the team’s success, averaging 29.8 points and 3.3 three points made. He’s also an unselfish passer with 4.2 dimes per game, using the attention given to him to make opportunities for his team to score.
Jason Brickman showed everyone in the ABL why he’s one of the most feared players in the league despite barely averaging 10 points per contest. Averaging a league high 10.3 assists per game, Brickman’s impeccable court vision, and ability to control the offense in both halfcourt and transition opportunities is a huge reason for Mono’s success this season. He may be under the radar, but Brickman could easily be the team’s MVP.
Standing in Mono Vampire’s way is the Slingers, a squad that has prided itself on defending relentlessly. The mainstays on the squad are Xavier Alexander and Chris Charles, as they roam the paint and perimeter. Heritage Import AJ Mandani has also proven to be a solid 1-on-1 defender.
Xavier Alexander, the X-Man is ready to lead the Slingers to another Finals run. Alexander has been steady all season long for Singapore, averaging 24.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.8 steals. He’s a triple-double threat every time he’s on the floor, and will be tasked to stop whoever on Mono Vampire is surging on offense.
Chris Charles helped turn around the Slingers season, as they struggled to find rhythm and consistency in the early part of the season. But with Charles in the middle averaging 22.8 points, 16.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks, the Slingers rediscovered their defensive identity. The former ABL Defensive Player of the Year is still at the peak of his powers.
Mono Vampire’s strength all season long has been evident: they are going to outscore you if you don’t put a stop to then. They average the most points among all the Q’Finals teams in the ABL, at 101.2 points per game on a scintillating 49.4% from the field. The Slingers will have a tough time trying to stop Mono Vampire, and it could boil down to getting stops down the stretch.
If there’s one team that could be tailored to stopping Mono Vampire’s high octane offense, it’s the Slingers. They play at a slow pace, and post relentless defenders at every position on the floor. Though they struggle scoring at times, they will do their best to ensure that opponents will struggle as well. They hold opponents to 79.6 points per contest, and will be determined to slow down Mono Vampire on the offensive end.
The difference in styles will be fun to monitor all series long. Which squad will draw first blood on Friday?