Philippine Patriots fall to visiting Indonesia Warriors in game 1 of ABL semisBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—The AirAsia Philippine Patriots could not complete a comeback and fell to the visiting Indonesia Warriors, 64-73, in the best-of-three semifinals of the Asean Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig city.
The Patriots, a loss away from failing to make it to the finals for the first time in league history, will try to even the series next week—but in the dangerous homecourt of the Warriors.
A 21-point deficit at halftime seemed too deep of a hole to dig out of, and the Patriots nearly pulled it off as their three-point shooting finally clicked.
But that was before Indonesia’s Fil-American star guard Stanley Pringle took over in clutch.
Pringle scored eight straight points for Indonesia in the fourth quarter to finally ward off the Patriots, who came as close as four points in the third, 52-56.
Pringle, highlighted by his spellbinding crossovers and tough shots, finished with 23 points along with three rebounds.
The home squad used a furious third-quarter rally, banking on an 11-to-nothing run, to trim the seemingly insurmountable deficit behind guard Al Vergara and import Anthony Johnson
Johnson, who was helped off the court by his teammates after suffering a mild sprain, had 21 points and eight rebounds while Vergara added 12.