Alab Pilipinas just beat Mono Vampire at its own run-n-gun game

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 23, 2018 04:13 PM
Alab just beat Mono at its own run-n-gun game
Renaldo Balkman and Alab Pilipinas not only kept in step with run-n-gun Mono, they actually ultimately outran them

STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Thailand’s Mono Vampire was four seconds away from stealing Game 1 of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League Finals from home team Alab Pilipinas.

Justin Brownlee, and Renaldo Balkman, were having none of it, however.

Brownlee’s heads-up play coupled with Balkman’s hustle play extended the Finals showdown and in overtime, there was just no stopping the two of them. “We gotta win this game. We gotta win it. That was all that was in my head then,” the latter told reporters post-game.

The Filipinos’ reinforcements combined for 18 points in the extra period, outscoring by nine points all of Vampire. “I just knew that if we’re going into overtime, it’s gonna be over,” Balkman said.

The final score read, 143-130, in favor of the home team who now has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five championship round.

The incredible come-from behind win is nothing but a morale-booster as they prepare for Game 2 on Wednesday still at the same venue and then Game 3 on Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand. “We were down four with 19 seconds and everybody was walking out like we’ve lost the game. We gotta stick together during those times,” the Puerto Rican import said.

He then continued, “But it’s all good cause we did and we came up with the win.”

The Philippines’ 143 points were the most points scored in a single game in the eight-year history of the ABL.

And with that, the defensive-minded team proved that, when needed, they can keep up with Vampire’s high-octane offense. “Credit to Mono, they came out and played extremely well. Credit to coach Douglas [Marty] for coming out with a great game plan,” head coach Jimmy Alapag shared.

He then continued, “But we have a very resilient group and guys who continue to fight. That’s a staple for us this season.”

Still, Alab hopes that they will be the ones setting the pace on Wednesday. “As a team, we just have to be much better defensively. Giving up 143 points won’t win us this series and I am confident we will be much better,” Alapag said.

Balkman could only agree. “We gotta come back (in Game 2) and do a better job than we did tonight,” he remarked

Game 2 and the rest of the 2017-2018 ABL Finals will still be LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on S+A, S+A HD, and livestream.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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