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Alab crawls back to stun Mono on the road

Jason Brickman sizzled for Alab. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Alab Pilipinas silenced Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi after shocking Mono Vampire in overtime, 100-92, in their final ABL regular season meeting on Thursday night.

Despite needing five more minutes to do so, Alab completed a comeback from 16 points to steal the road win against Mono four nights after the latter scored the away victory in blowout fashion in Caloocan.

Mono was actually on the verge of blowing Alab out for the second straight game after opening a 73-57 lead with 9:14 remaining in regulation.

Alab, however, outscored Mono from there, 27-6, to take an 84-79 lead with 56.2 seconds to play. Alab even had a chance to stretch the lead and possibly seal the win in regulation after forcing Mike Singletary to a five-second inbound violation.

Alab failed to close out the game as Louie Vigil missed a corner triple attempt, and Preston Knowles scored a stop-and-pop trey to cut the lead down to just two, 84-82, with 26.2 seconds left in regulation.

Nick King, a solid free throw shooter, failed to ice the game for Alab as he settled for a split from the line off a Moses Morgan foul, and Singletary launched the equalizing triple with 3.8 seconds left.

King tried to steal the Alab win, but Mono's tough defense forced him to a halfcourt heave that only hit the back rim as time expired.

After a close start to the overtime period, Alab went on the game deciding 9-0 run that put them up, 97-88, with 1:39 left as Mono were held scoreless for about a minute and a half.

Singletary tried to keep Mono in the again after scoring four straight points, but his last basket turned out to be Mono's as well.

Jason Brickman came close to a triple-double with 32 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists with three steals to lead Alab, which zoomed to second place in the standings at 7-4, one game behind their victims, who fell to 9-4.

King added 26 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and one steal, while Sam Deguara contributed 18 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, one block, and three steals.

Singletary finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, and one assist, Knowles ended up with 24 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two steals, and Tyler Lamb came up with 20 points, four rebounds, two assists, and three steals for Mono.