SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas and Mono Vampire clash for all the marbles on Wednesday night in Game Five of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
Game time is 8 p.m.
A thrilling best-of-five championship series, fittingly enough, goes down to a winner-take-all match after Mono Vampire held its ground in Game Four, 88-83, on Monday at Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
Now the two teams make a quick shift to the Philippines, with both eyeing a maiden ABL title.
Coach Jimmy Alapag said Alab is right where it wants to be.
“We wanted to come to Thailand and get a split. We got our split. We get Game Five at home,” said Alapag, who is looking to wrap up his first title as head coach - and the third for the Philippines in the eight-year-old regional league.
For that to happen, Alapag said Alab can't afford to make the season-high 26 errors it had in the Game Four loss.
“We limited them under a hundred and that’s what we wanted to do,” said Alab star Bobby Ray Parks. ”It’s just that we can’t beat a team like that and have 26 turnovers at all. They capitalized on everything. They scored like 20 points off it. That’s just us shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Mono, meanwhile, made the trip to Manila on Tuesday armed with the confidence of winning the final game of the season in front of a hostile crowd in Sta. Rosa.
“I believe in our team,” said Mono Vampire coach Douglas Marty. ”We have been resilient all season. We are here for a reason. We belong here and I still believe we can win this championship. The challenge is for us to play better on Monday.”
Jason Brickman, meanwhile, is looking forward to playing his second Game Five in the ABL, having played his first when he was with the Westports Malaysia Dragons in 2016.
The Dragons won the crown that year.
“It’s going to be an awesome environment. Just keep our composure, try to stay calm and poised, and try to lead the team,” said Mono's Fil-American guard.