Imports pull down Patriots
Must-win for PH five SundayBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The AirAsia Philippine Patriots took their Game 1 loss hard.
And coach Glenn Capacio thinks it’s not just the Indonesia Warriors that they need to overcome to level the semifinal series and stay alive in the Asean Basketball League.
“Our problem isn’t Indonesia, our problem is ourselves,” said Capacio. “We’re not changing anything [in our game plan], it’s more of mental and the conditioning of our imports. They have to last for 40 minutes and sustain their intensity from start to finish.”
Behind the dynamic tandem of Filipino-American guard Stanley Pringle and import Steve Thomas, the visiting Warriors stunned the No. 2 Patriots, 73-64, last Sunday.
Anthony Johnson led the Patriots with 21 points, but the team’s other import, Nakiea Miller, only had nine on 3-of-21 shooting.
“It’s unfortunate because in a series, Game 1 is very important,” said Capacio. “But we’re trying to be positive because we have one more game to recover. The imports will be crucial, they have to shape up.”
San Miguel Beer, the other Philippine squad seeded No. 1, also had a tough time in its own best-of-three series, but the Beermen showed enough composure in overtime to down the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 111-104, last Saturday.
The Beermen will shoot for the first title berth against the Dragons in Game 2 this Saturday at the Maba Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
But the Patriots face a tougher task on the road as the former champions try to forge a decider in the Warriors’ homecourt on Sunday at the Mahaka Square in Jakarta.
“Our backs are against the wall so we have to work doubly hard,” said Capacio.