by Jonas Terrado
Game Saturday (Stadium 29, Bangkok)
4:30 p.m. – Mono Vampire vs Alab Pilipinas
(Series tied 1-1)
STA. ROSA, Laguna – Man mountain Sam Deguara scored a three-point play, Paul Zamar scored two pressure-packed free throws and Mono Vampire stole homecourt advantage from San Miguel Alab Pilipinas with a 103-100 victory that tied the ASEAN Basketball League Finals at 1-1 in this city.
Deguara, who stands at 7-foot-5, made the go-ahead basket off a JR Alabanza foul, subsequently converting the bonus free throw, to give the Thai club a 101-98 lead with exactly a minute left in the game while Zamar sank both charities after Alab got into a point to create the needed cushion in the end.
Justin Brownlee, nursing an apparent injury, missed two three-point attempts in the final seconds as Mono prevented Alab from gaining a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Deguara finished with 30 points and 20 rebounds, this time avoiding a fifth foul, for Mono, which will the next two games of the series in Bangkok on Saturday and Monday.
Former PBA import Mike Singletary had 26 points and eight rebounds, Fil-American Jason Brickman had 15 points, six rebounds and 11 assists and Zamar bucked a 2-of-11 shooting with 12 points for Mono.
Renaldo Balkman, who was earlier named as co-Defensive Player of the Year, produced 37 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort as Alab was forced to play majority of the fourth without Brownlee.
Newly-minted Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. had 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists and Brownlee and Josh Urbiztondo, who finally broke out of a shooting slump since recovering from a hamstring injury, added 14 points apiece.
MONO VAMPIRE 103 – Deguara 30, Singletary 26, Brickman 15, Zamar 12, Apiromvilaichai 12, Klahan 4, Chanthachon 4, Sunthonsiri 0.
ALAB PILIPINAS 100 – Balkman 37, Parks 21, Brownlee 14, Urbiztondo 14, Javelona 6, Domingo 4, Hontiveros 2, Alabanza 2, Raymundo 0.
Quarters: 24-20; 52-45; 78-73; 103-100.