MONO Vampire import Mike Singletary knows what it’s like to play in the Philippines after his PBA stints, so it’s no surprise how he showed composure in front of the rowdy Filipino crowd.
With the thousands of fans cheering the home team at the Sta.Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas got an extra kick as they came away with a 143-130 overtime win over Singletary and Mono to take Game One of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals.
Singletary, who played for Barako Bull and briefly for San Miguel in the PBA, relishes the chance to play in front of a hostile crowd and having tours of duty in the country, it’s also his job to keep his team together in moments like this.
“I enjoy it,” said Singletary who led the Thai team with 42 points.
“I just try to relay it to my guys and the team that it’s gonna be a hostile environment. Sometimes, things aren’t gonna go our way but we just got to continue keep pushing the pace and continue to just keep playing,” he added.
Singletary might be the target of boos and jeers by the hostile crowd - as he’ll be if he continues to be a thorn to the home side – but make no mistake about it, he’s definitely thrilled playing in front of the passionate Filipino basketball fans.
“I love playing here. These fans, they love basketball. They really get behind their team, they really give them a lot of energy. You know it’s fun as a visiting team as well to go and play in an environment like this,” Singletary said.
“I think our guys were up to the challenge. This is kind of what the championship is all about. You want to be able to come into a hostile environment and win the first game but it’s a long series,” he added.
Mono was on the verge of stealing one from Alab as they moved ahead by four with less than 20 seconds to go following Singletary’s free throws.
But things didn’t just go their way, as they made some costly errors down the stretch, which allowed Alab to storm back and win the game in overtime.
“That’s just two good teams battling. A lot of back and forth. We made runs, they made runs. They made crucial shots in the end, we made crucial shots in the end. Sometimes the ball doesn’t just bounce where you want it to go,” Singletary continued.
“But I’m proud of our team. We fought til the very end and we never gave up. We’re extremely proud of our guys and if we can fix some things that were pretty costly for us, I think we’ll be ready to go on Wednesday. Hopefully we’ll have a much better game for our standards.”