Sam Deguara proved to be the big difference as the 7-foot-6 behemoth powered San Miguel Alab Pilipinas past opening game tormentor Mono Vampire of Thailand to the tune of 96-73 in the 10th season of the ASEAN Basketball League, Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The 28-year old native of Pietà, Malta posted a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 3 blocks as the Philippine representative to the regional meet avenged a 111-76 beating it received from the same team during their previous meeting last November 17 at Stadium 29 in Thailand.
“Sam has been really a shot in the arm for us since he arrived two weeks ago,” said San Miguel Alab coach Jimmy Alapag. “It just seemed like the team mesh with him right away. He’s such a huge presence both offensively and defensively, and he’s a great guy.”
“The last time we played these guys, I was outcoached and we were just outplayed so it was really important for us to get back and show how much progress we made in the last 4-5 weeks,” he added.
American reinforcement Nick King paced San Miguel Alab with 24 points while Khalif Wyatt and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively. Chief playmaker Jason Brickman finished with 8 points, 8 boards and 10 assists.
Tyler Lamb led the visitors with 22 points while former SMB import Mike Singletary added 17.
The win was San Miguel Alab’s 3rd consecutive after that opening day loss and enabled the team to grab a share of top spot with their victims with identical 3-1 records. Their next assignment is against the Formosa Dreamers on December 22 at the Changhua County Stadium in Taiwan.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas 96 — King 24, Deguara 20, Wyatt 13, Ganuelas-Rosser 11, Brickman 8, Gray 6, Heading 5, Domingo 5, Vigil 4, Caracut 0, Rangel 0.
Mono Vampire 73 — Lamb 22, Singletary 17, Morgan 9, Knowles 9, Ananti 6, Watkins 4, Lish 2, Chanthachon 2, Phuangla 2, Saengtong 0, Boonserm 0, Towaroj 0
Quarterscores: 20-18, 38-35, 68-58, 96-73.