Indonesia five upsets PatriotsBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
GAME SATURDAY (Maba Stadium, Kuala Lumpur)
4 p.m.—Westports Malaysia vs San Miguel
GAME SUNDAY (Mahaka Square, Jakarta)
3 p.m.—Indonesia vs AirAsia Philippines
(Game 2, best-of-three semis)
THE INDONESIA Warriors dumped the AirAsia Philippines Patriots into an early 21-point hole then held on for a 73-64 win yesterday in a big Asean Basketball League semifinal upset at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Stanley Pringle and Steve Thomas did the damage early, powering the visiting Warriors to a double-digit lead right in the first five minutes that grew to 44-23 at halftime before surviving the Patriots’ desperate rally in the second half.
“We got off to a good start which helped,” said Todd Purves, the Warriors’ American coach. “We knew it’s going to be tough, we expected them to come back and they did.”
Pringle unloaded 23 points, including eight in a fourth-quarter run that got the Warriors back in command after the Patriots trimmed the gap to just four, 56-52.
Also backing up Pringle, a Filipino-American playing as an import for the Warriors, was former Patriots import Steve Thomas, who dropped 17 points and pulled down 19 rebounds.
San Miguel Beer earlier took a 1-0 lead in its own best-of-three series as the Beermen downed the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 111-104, in overtime last Saturday.
The top-seeded Beermen will vie for a sweep of the Dragons this Saturday at the Maba Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, while the Patriots will try to forge a deciding third game in the Warriors’ homecourt in Game 2 on Sunday in Jakarta.
Although the Patriots came back to life in the third period behind Al Vergara, the second-seeded squad just couldn’t catch up even when Indonesia’s other import, Evan Brock, got sidelined by an injury.
INDONESIA 73—Pringle 23, Thomas 17, Brock 8, Prihantono 6, Salangsang 5, Wuysang 4, Canada 4, Gunawan 4, Sitepu 2, Wisnu 0.
AIRASIA PHILIPPINES 64—Johnson 21, Vergara 12, Miller 9, Fernandez 8, Ramos 6, Adriano 4, Saldua 2, Larong 2, Wainwright 0, Laure 0, Arellano 0, Raymundo 0.
Quarters: 24-11, 44-23, 58-52, 73-64