Renaldo Balkman scored the go-ahead basket as Alab Pilipinas held off Mono Vampire, 86-84, in their ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) match-up at the Baliwag Star Arena in Baliwag on Wednesday night.
Balkman received a pass from fellow world import Justin Brownlee for the layup against the outstretched arms of beanpole Samuel Deguara to put Alab for good and preserve the win despite losing a late five-point cushion.
Alab was up, 84-79, with 2:24 to go, but Jason Brickman scored on a tough one-hander with 56.9 seconds to go and Mike Singletary buried a left corner triple following a missed Brownlee trey with 19.2 seconds remaining to tie the game at 84-all.
Brownlee, however, found Balkman underneath off a pick-and-roll who converted the lay-in with 3.8 seconds remaining for the 86-84 cushion.
Singletary tried to steal the win for Mono Vampire from the same spot where he drained the equalizing trey, but Brownlee blocked his long bomb attempt to save the game for Alab.
Balkman finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, five steals, and one block for Alab, which scored its sixth straight win and moved up to third place in the standings at 9-4.
Brownlee came close to a triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, five blocks, and four steals.
Deguara had 21 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks for Mono Vampire, but he had eight turnovers while the Thai squad dropped to fourth at 9-5.
Meanwhile, in Foshan, China, Anthony Tucker tallied a triple-double as Nanhai got back at Saigon with a 94-79 rout.
Tucker finished with 20 markers, 12 dimes, and 11 rebounds along with a steal for the Kung Fu, who avenged their first loss of the season at the hands of the Heat.
Mikh McKinney and Justin Howard each tallied 23 points for Nanhai, which solidified its hold of second place at 8-2, a half-game behind league-leading Eastern.
Maxie Esho fired 29 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and one steal for Saigon, which lost for the fourth time in the last five games and slipped to 5-6. *PNA
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