|Mono Vampire players celebrate during a timeout. FIBA|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Mono Vampire used a dominant fourth quarter to down Meralco, 100-92, in Day 1 of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup at the former's home court, the Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand on Thursday night.
The Bolts failed to sustain a hot start, and the Vampires turned things around in the fourth quarter to score the victory to the delight of their fans.
Behind a hot showing from late replacement import Diamond Smith, Meralco went on an 8-0 start before settling for a 28-21 advantage at the end of the first period.
But just as Smith, a former member of the United States Youth Team, began to fizzle, Mono began sneaking into the Meralco lead.
Eventually, the Vampires took the lead in the third quarter, setting up a seesaw battle for the latter part of the period which ended in a 70-all tie.
They, however, opened the fourth period with their own 8-0 run as Marcus Keene finally got his three-point shooting going.
The Thai squad then held off the Filipino side's runs, the last being a 7-0 run that cut the then 10-point lead down to just three inside the last two minutes, to finally seal the victory.
Keene finished with 29 points, three rebounds, eight assists, and one steal, while Mono Vampire's resident import Mike Singletary added 25 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Stone finished with 23 points for Meralco, but he only had eight points in the final 30 minutes of play after scorching for 15 points in the first quarter.
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