ABL Finals: Brownlee never says die as Alab fights off Mono in Game 1
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 22, 2018 10:50 PM
Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman combined for 85 points to power the Filipinos past Thailand's Mono Vampire.
STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Justin Brownlee missed a crucial free throw, but also made the heads-up play that kept the fire burning for Alab Pilipinas in regulation in Game 1 of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League Finals.
Brownlee’s intentionally botched free throw ended up as a putback for Renaldo Balkman and the two would just keep going in overtime as the Filipinos pulled off an incredible 143-130 come-from-behind victory versus Thailand’s Mono Vampire on Sunday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.
The two reinforcements didn’t stop battling no matter what and willed the Philippines a step closer to its first championship since 2013. They now lead the best-of-five series, 1-0.
Brownlee dropped 10 of his 46 points in the extra period on top of a total of 11 rebounds and nine assists. His scoring output set the record for most points scored in a Finals game by a player.
His biggest play, though, was an intentionally botched free throw.
The Philippines was chasing down a two-point deficit with four ticks to go and Brownlee fished a foul that sent him to the line.
Once there, he muffed his first free throw before making sure his second attempt just grazed enough of the rim.
It did and it was again the American import who got the rebound. While his short stab didn’t go in, Balkman was there to clean it up and ultimately forced overtime.
There was no stopping the Alab reinforcements in the extra period as they just turned it on, outscoring all of Mono, 18-9, by their lonesome.
Brownlee was the star of the show, but his Puerto Rican running mate was not that far behind with 39 points and 15 rebounds of his own.
Locals Ray Parks Jr. and Lo Domingo also added 27 and 14 points, respectively, to help the Filipinos overcome a four-point disadvantage with under 20 seconds remaining.
They hope to stand at the winning end anew in Game 2 on Wednesday still at the same venue. Of course, all of the action will be on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/abl.
Conversely, Vampire is hopeful for a different outcome.
However, they are also hoping Mike Singletary could build on his 42-point outburst and Filipino reinforcement Paul Zamar could stay hot after pouring in 25 markers.
SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 143 — Brownlee 46, Balkman 39, Parks 27, Domingo 14, Raymundo 9, Javelona 8, Alabanza 0, Celiz 0, Hontiveros 0, Sumalinog 0, Urbiztondo 0.
MONO VAMPIRE 130 — Singletary 42, Zamar 25, Deguara 21, Brickman 15, Apiromvilaichai 14, Chanthachon 7, Klahan 6, Boonyai 0, Khukhandin 0, Phuangla 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 26-32, 59-58, 87-87, 121-121, 143-130.
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