Alab Pilipinas captures ABL championship with Game 5 win
STA. ROSA — After a shaky start, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas ended its season in a blaze of glory.
The Filipino side etched their name in the history books after winning the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League title with a 102-92 Game 5 triumph over Mono Vampire at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex.
San Miguel Alab became the third team from the Philippines to rule the regional tilt, following the footsteps of Philippine Patriots in 2010 and San Miguel Beermen in 2013.
Renaldo Balkman completed his road to redemption with a dominant 32-point, nine-rebound, six-assist, and two-steal performance in the title-clincher.
Justin Brownlee also fueled the championship drive with a near-triple-double of 24 points, 12 boards, and nine assists to make up for the foul-plagued outing of back-to-back ABL Local MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr., who wound up with 13 points, four assists, and two rebounds.
The triumph also capped off Jimmy Alapag’s amazing season as rookie coach, with the Philippine team starting the campaign at 0-3 and battling the odds to help the country reclaim its place on top in the region.
Balkman had eight quick points to spark the hot 14-4 start for the Filipinos, who extended the lead to 39-23 with a Brownlee triple midway in the second quarter.
Mono fought back and trimmed the lead down to five, 54-49, with a Darongpan Apiromvilaichai bucket, but Alab immediately doused the rally and broke the game wide open.
A 27-7 tear pushed the Filipinos’ lead to as much as 25, 81-56, on Balkman slam late in the third frame and they were never threatened from there.
Mike Singletary paced Mono Vampire in the defeat with 32 points, eight rebounds, and four assists while man mountain Sam Deguara registered 24 points and 18 boards.
SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 102 – Balkman 32, Brownlee 24, Parks 13, Domingo 9, Raymundo 9, Javelona 7, Urbiztondo 5, Hontiveros 3, Alabanza 0, Celiz 0, Maierhofer 0, Sumalinog 0.
MONO VAMPIRE 92 – Singletary 32, Deguara 24, Zamar 19, Brickman 9, Chanthachon 6, Apiromvilaichai 2, Ananti 0, Boonyai 0, Khunkhandin 0, Klahan 0, Phuangla 0, Sunthonsiri 0.
Quarters: 27-14, 54-45, 82-61, 102-92.
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