MONO Vampire coach Douglas Marty admittedAlab Pilipinas import Justin Brownlee’s intentionally missed free throw that led to Renaldo Balkman's game-tying putback late in regulation took the fight out of his Bangkok-based squad.
Marty insisted that he saw no violation in Brownlee’s ‘playground’ ploy, even as the Thailand team looked headed for a huge road win in Game One with Mono up 121-119 after the Alab import missed his first free throw with only four seconds remaining in regulation.
But in an unbelievable turn of events, Brownlee got his own miss after intentionally missing his second attempt at the stripe, then missed his own putback before Balkman scored off the offensive rebound to tie the game and force overtime.
Basketball rules state a free throw shooter is not allowed to cross the free throw line until the ball hits the rim, and Marty believed Brownlee’s intentional miss was a legal play.
“The playground shot by Brownlee on the free throw, that is stuff you do in the playground and it works sometimes. Do it in the finals, you pull it off, we will check it out but it was probably legal,” said Marty on the sequence that happened after Brownlee’s missed free throw.
“I mean, the ball has to touch the rim before he crosses the line, but it looked like it was legal,” the American coach added.
More than his 7-foot-5 import Sam Deguara disqualification on fouls late in regulation, Marty pointed to this sequence as the one that turned the game in Alab’s favor.
“We had rebounders in there. They got that bounce and that was huge. Perhaps that took the wind out. They dominated us in overtime. Credit to them, they put pressure on our defense all game,” said Marty.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, Marty remained proud of his players for pushing Alab to the limit as they now move forward from that final sequence in regulation and prepare hard for Game Two.
”We played our hearts out. So proud of the team. We have to improve, though, to get a win. Obviously we have to improve our defense to extend this thing and get a victory on Wednesday,” said Marty.