Warriors oust PatriotsBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
JAKARTA—The Indonesia Warriors spoiled a possible all-Filipino finale in the Asean Basketball League.
In full control early, the Warriors eliminated the AirAsia Philippine Patriots with a 72-51 rout to claim the first title berth yesterday at the Mahaka Square here.
The Patriots managed to shut down Stanley Pringle this time, but the Warriors still proved formidable behind Steve Thomas and Evan Brock and completed an upset semifinal sweep of the second-seeded Patriots.
The Philippine campaign is now left on the shoulders of the San Miguel Beermen, who are tied with the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 1-1, in their own best-of-three series.
The Beermen and the Dragons will fight for the last championship slot in the winner-take-all Game 3 on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“We didn’t change a lot,” said Indonesia’s American coach Todd Purves. “We just tried to better our system, to play better in executing our defensive game in what they’ll do.”
Thomas powered the Warriors with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Brock also had a big double-double outing of 16 points and 11 boards.
It will be the first time the Patriots will miss the title round in three seasons. They bagged the 2010 inaugural crown and finished runner-up last year.
In Game 1, the Warriors took an early 21-point lead over the Patriots and went on to win, 73-64, last week.
“It has been a collective effort from the start,” said Purves after the Warriors clinched their second finals stint in three seasons.
Pringle, a Filipino-American guard suiting up as an import for the Warriors, was held to eight points after topscoring with 23 in Game 1.
Nakiea Miller and Anthony Johnson paced the Patriots with a combined 23 points.
INDONESIA 72—Thomas 19, Brock 16, Wuysang 8, Pringle 8, Gunawan 7, Salangsang 6, Canada 3, Prihantono 3, Wisnu 2, Wibabwa 0, Ristanto 0.
AIRASIA PH 51—Miller 12, Johnson 11, Adriano 6, Vergara 5, Laure 4, Wainwright 3, Fernandez 2, Ybanez 2, Ramos 2, Arellano 2,Raymundo 2 Rodriguez 0.
Quarters: 16-13, 32-19, 49-36, 72-51