BY JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA
San Miguel AlabPilipinas came up with a strong second half, subduing the Romeo Travis-less Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 78-59, for a third straight win in Season 9 Asean Basketball League (ABL) on Saturday at the Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
The reigning Filipino champion squad pulled away in the final two quarters to stretch its winning streak and improve its league-best record to 16-3.
AlabPilipinas, which already secured a playoff spot, also posted its third triumph in as many encounters against finals rival Mono Vampire.
Last season’s Defensive Player of the Year Renaldo Balkman erupted for a game-high 31 points built on a 14-of-23 shooting clip to go with six rebounds, four steals, and two assists.
PJ Ramos made up for lost time as the 7-foot-4 center drilled in a huge double-double of 16 points and 19 boards on top of seven assists and a block. Ramos came from a one-game suspension due to technical foul accumulation.
The two Puerto Rican reinforcements lorded over the paint as Mono’s import Travis went missing in action due to knee injury.
Two-time Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. contributed nine points, six rebounds, and five assists even as Lawrence Domingo and PaoJavelona came off the bench to chip in eight markers apiece for the Jimmy Alapag-mentored team.
Up by only 40-33 at the half, Alab unleashed a 22-12 run behind Balkman for a massive 62-45 lead late in the third quarter.
The Filipino ball club led by as high as 20 points, 74-54, on Ramos’ dunk with 6:39 left in the game.
American imports Mike Singletary and Malcolm White paced Mono with 17 points each while Thai-American guard Tyler Lamb had 13 markers.
The Vampires remained stuck at No. 9 with a 5-14 slate. (The Manila Times)