Paul Zamar deals dagger as Mono Vampire nips Alab to send ABL finals to a deciding Game 5
Alab import Renaldo Balkman goes for a shot against Mono giant Sam Deguara. Reuben Terrado

NONTHABURI, Thailand — Mono Vampire Basketball Club forced a winner-take-all Game 5 in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals after upending San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, 88-83, on Monday at the Stadium 29.

Michael Singletary and Samuel Deguara had 20 points each while Paul Zamar hit a floater with 17.9 seconds left that enabled the Thai side to seal the win and take the best-of-five finals to the limit.

Jason Brickman had 13 points and 10 assists for Mono, which will now go to Sta. Rosa, Laguna for Game Five on Wednesday night looking to deny Alab a maiden ABL championship.

With the game tied at 69-all, Mono started the fourth quarter with 10-2 run for a 79-71 cushion - a lead that held down to the final buzzer.

The closest Alab got in the endgame was at three points on a lay-up by Lawrence Domingo and two free throws by Justin Brownlee, 86-83, with less than a minute left.

But Mono held its ground thanks to Zamar, who hit a tough runner in the lane, 88-83, with 17 seconds to go.

After taking a 2-1 series lead following a 99-93 win on Saturday in this town outside Bangkok, Alab Pilipinas now goes home looking to seal the crown in front of its home crowd. It won’t be easy, though, as Mono pulled off the biggest win of their campaign thus far in the season to the delight of thousands of fans who watched Game Four on a weekday afternoon.

“I guess we go home for Game Five,” said San Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag, whose team immediately went to the Bangkok airport for their return trip to Manila.

Mono Vampire coach Douglas Marty, however, was proud of the players in forcing Game Five thanks to a great defensive effort from their end.

“Another thrilling game in a thrilling series,” said Marty. ”I’m really, really proud of the team. It’s an elimination game. We haven’t beat them on this court. The pressure was on us. I’m so proud of the guys. They brought the energy.

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“It is by far their best game defensively, which is critical against this high-scoring team,” he added.

Bobby Ray Parks had 21 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for Alab Pilipinas, while Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman each had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the visiting squad.

Balkman, however, was saddled with foul trouble as he had four fouls entering the fourth period. Lawrence Domingo had 14 points and six rebounds, but also had foul issues as he had three in the final canto.

 

The scores:

Mono Vampire 88 - Deguara 20, Singletary 20, Brickman 13, Zamar 11, Apiromvilaichai 9, Chantachon 6, Ananti 6, Klahan 3.

Alab Pilipinas 83 - Parks 21, Brownlee 18, Balkman 18, Domingo 14, Raymundo 5, Sumalinog 3, Urbiztondo 2, Javelona 2, Hontiveros 0, Alabanza 0.

Quarterscores: 23-18; 45-42; 69-69; 88-83.

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