The Philippines are once again kings of the ASEAN Basketball League.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas defeated the Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 102-92, capturing the ABL title in five games at the Sta. Rosa Multi Purpose Complex on Wednesday night.
"I'm just really thankful for our guys. I'm proud of them. Nothing like bringing the championship back home," head coach Jimmy Alapag said.
Renaldo Balkman, who completed his fairytale return to Philippine basketball with a title, led with 32 points while adding nine rebounds and six assists. Justin Brownlee narrowly missed a triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.
Finals MVP Ray Parks was simply super as he averaged 22.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists through five games. An emotional Parks offered the championship to his late father Bobby Ray Parks Sr., who last coached in the ABL before passing away in 2013.
"Dad, we did it," Parks first said as he fought through tears. "I got emotional very early. I'm just thankful to boss Charlie [Dy] and coach Jimmy for the opportunity."
With the Thailand team misfiring early, the Philippines established a 16-point lead in the second quarter. Mono rallied to cut the deficit to 54-49 to start the third quarter.
It looked like it was going to be another tight battle for the second half. In the previous four games in the Finals, the two teams went down the wire. But Alab asserted control in the pivotal third quarter and used a game-changing 27-7 run and led by as many as 25 points.
For Mono, Michael Singletary finished with 32 points but was only 11-for-28 from the field. Mono's reinforcement also had eight turnovers in the loss. Filipino-American Jason Brickman, who was guarded by Parks all series long, was only able to muster nine points in Game 5.
This is the third title by a Philippine team in the ABL. The Philippine Patriots first won a championship in 2009 and the San Miguel Beermen were victorious in 2013.