ABL: Mono has 7-5 Deguara to thank for now having homecourt edge

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 26, 2018 04:03 PM
ABL: Mono has Deguara to thank for now having homecourt edge
Mono Vampire's Sam Deguara was no match for all of Alab Pilipinas' Renaldo Balkman, Lo Domingo, and JR Alabanza

STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Mono Vampire has stolen homecourt advantage away from Alab Pilipinas.

Running and gunning all game long last Wednesday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex, Thailand got the better of the Philippines in Game 2 of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League Finals. “Obviously, we’re thrilled and pleased to come out here with a win today. I’m so proud of our team,” head coach Douglas Marty told reporters post-game.

Now, Mono goes home to Bangkok with the best-of-five series all even at 1-1.

That means that, with Games 3 and 4 to be played at Stadium 29, they have a golden opportunity of winning the championship at home. “Alab is so strong and you never want to go home down 0-2. We wouldn’t lose confidence or give up in any way (if that happened), but this was critical,” Marty said.

He then continued, “Homecourt edge is so important and we had to win one of these two (in the Philippines).”

For that, Vampire can thank, literally, the biggest difference between the two teams thus far – 7-foot-5 Sam Deguara. “We executed very well on our game plan. We wanted to go inside to Sam and he did a good job staying out of foul-trouble,” gunslinger guard Paul Zamar said.

He then continued, “When he didn’t pick up his fifth foul, I think that’s the game-changer right there.”

Indeed, Deguara towered above all of Renaldo Balkman, Lo Domingo, and JR Alabanza to pound in 30 points, 20 rebounds, and five blocks. It was also him who made good on the basket and bonus that proved to be the go-ahead basket for Thailand.

That is a much better result compared to Game 1 when he fouled out late in regulation and was unable to help his team in overtime where they ultimately lost.

Deguara’s head coach only expects him to keep doing what he did for the rest of the series. “The number one thing for us was the way we used Sam – keeping him on the court and protecting the basket. Keeping Sam on the court will be a big key for us against Alab,” Mart shared.

As always, Game 3 of the ABL Finals will still be LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on S+A, S+A HD, and livestream.

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