Renaldo Balkman sank the game-winning basket as Alab Pilipinas edged out Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 86-84, in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Season 8 on Wednesday night at the packed Baliuag Star Arena in Bulacan. Alab, after posting its sixth straight win jumped to the third spot.
Balkman hit the go-ahead layup with 3.8 seconds remaining to stretch the San Miguel-backed squad’s winning streak.
With its third home victory, Alab overtook Mono Vampire on No. 3 with a 9-4 win-loss record. It was a perfect follow up to the Filipino ball club’s 114-87 beating of the Thais last January 14 at the latter’s home stadium.
Puerto Rican big man Balkman led the Jimmy Alapag-mentored squad with 31 points and 13 rebounds to go with five steals and three assists while American forward Justin Brownlee finished with 16 markers, 12 boards, eight dimes and five blocks, including a crucial one in the endgame.
Ray Parks Jr. chipped in 10 points and four assists while fellow local standouts Josh Urbiztondo and Oping Sumalinog added eight markers apiece for Alab.
Urbiztondo knocked down a corner triple to cap a 9-2 run that turned the home team’s 75-77 deficit to an 84-79 lead approaching the last two minutes.
But the Filipino-American playmaker Jason Brickman scored on a floater and Mike Singletary drained a trey to tie the game at 84-all with 19.2 ticks left.
Alapag did not call a timeout, entrusting his men to pull off their final offensive play. The 40-year old mentor’s gamble paid off as Brownlee dished out a nifty pass to a rolling Balkman, who converted it into a winning layup.
Brownlee then swatted away Singletary’s potential game-tying three-pointer to seal the win.
The seven-foot-four Samuel Deguara led the Vampires with 21 points and 15 rebounds while Singletary chalked 19 markers and 12 boards in full 40 minutes of action.
Brickman tallied 11 points and as many assists while Filipino guard Paul Zamar had 12 markers for Mono, which dropped to No. 4 with a 9-5 card.
ALAB PILIPINAS (86)— Balkman 31, Brownlee 16, Parks 10, Urbiztondo 8, Sumalinog 8, Domingo 6, Raymundo 4, Maierhofer 3, Alabanza 0, Javelona 0, Hontiveros 0.
MONO VAMPIRE (84)— Deguara 21, Singletary 19, Zamar 12, Brickman 11, Kruatiwa 9, Ananti 7, Chanthachon 5, Klahan 0.
Quarterscores: 22-18; 38-40; 68-60; 86-84