MONO Vampire import Paul Zamar expressed confidence his team can bounce back against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas despite a deflating Game One loss on Sunday in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals.
Mono lost Game One in overtime, 143-130, following a Renaldo Balkman tip-in in regulation, set up by Justin Brownlee intentionally missing a free throw to keep Alab in the game.
Zamar, however, said Game One only proved Mono Vampire can holds its ground against Alab Pilipinas in front of an animated home crowd at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
“We can keep in step with Alab and their sixth man. Grabe ‘yung naging momentum shift and we need to weather that,” Zamar said ahead of Game Two on Wednesday where Alab guns for a 2-0 lead.
The 30-year-old guard finished with 25 points in Game One but his efforts were not enough. Now Mono looks to send the series to Bangkok with the series tied at 1-1.
The Filipino import was proud of his teammates for being in the game for a big portion of the match until in overtime when 7-foot-5 center Samuel Deguara was relegated to the bench after fouling out in regulation.
“We played with big hearts. We played against the crowd. Siyempre expected nating mga Pilipino, diehard sila mag-cheer. Ang ingay buong game. Satisfactory naman. Marami kaming binigay na points. We can be better on defense,” said Zamar.
The 5-foot-11 Zamar also hopes the entire team learned a lesson or two from that Game One collapse.
“Box out na lang. Lesson learned. In a championship game, hindi kami puwedeng magkaroon ng mga ganung mental lapses. We have to move on and learn from that,” he said.