ABL: Alab Pilipinas has a new mission: Get a W in Thailand

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 28, 2018 11:15 AM
ABL: Alab Pilipinas has a new mission: Get a W in Thailand
Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Ray Parks Jr. are nothing but determined to make sure that, at the very least, the ABL Finals will go back to the Philippines

Alab Pilipinas is no longer smarting from their Game 2 loss in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball Finals.

“It’s back to zero. In any series, you can’t get too high off a win, you can’t get too low off a loss,” head coach Jimmy Alapag told reporters after they dropped a 100-103 decision to Mono Vampire three days ago. “It’s gonna be a dogfight now. They stole one in our home so we got to steal one or two in their home.”

The Filipinos and the Thais split the first two games in the best-of-five series at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.

Now, Thailand has a golden opportunity to win the championship at home with the next two games to be played at the Stadium 29 in Bangkok.

Still, the Philippines remains upbeat that, at the very least, it will be sending the series back to Laguna for Game 5. “Get one in Thailand – that’s our whole focus. We will try to get one on Saturday and give ourselves an opportunity to bring it back home,” Alapag shared.

He then continued, “We’re not looking at anything further past Saturday.”

Game 3 will be on Saturday and Game 4 will be on Monday, both in Bangkok, while Game 5, if necessary, will be on Wednesday in Laguna.

Renaldo Balkman was of the same mind. As he put it, “It’s always tough when you lose, but hey, Imma keep the smile on my face ‘cause it’s 1-1. It’s not over yet.”

And the Puerto Rican reinforcement is not sweating the fact that both momentum and homecourt advantage are now with Mono. “Listen man, like they showed (last Wednesday), they beat us in our house so we gotta beat them (in their house) too. That’s how I see it,” he said.

He then continued, “The next game is anyone’s game. We gotta go there and play better than we did (last Wednesday).”

To play better, Alapag wants to see Alab with much more fire away from home. “Hopefully, we just come out with intensity and we initiate the physicality especially on the road. Most importantly, we stay together,” he remarked.

The all-important Game 3 in the best-of-five championship round tips off at 4:30 PM (Philippine time). It will then be aired on S+A and S+A HD at 7:00 PM.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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