Beermen, Warriors begin ABL title seriesBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ALL the talk about an even matchup also had both San Miguel Beer and Indonesia predicting a tight finals series in the Asean Basketball League.
Thus, the Beermen vow to go all out against the similarly confident Warriors in Game 1 of their best-of-three series at 4 p.m. today at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“We’ve been having good practices,” said San Miguel coach Bobby Parks. “Everybody has been focused since we know we’re going up against another great team. When Indonesia first made changes [in its lineup], I told my team that Indonesia is going to be tough.”
And Indonesia already proved that it can upset the favored Philippine teams when the Warriors surprisingly swept the second-ranked AirAsia Philippine Patriots, 2-0, in the semifinals.
“Even when the Patriots were in first place early in the season, I still felt San Miguel is the best team in the league,” Indonesia’s American coach Todd Purves said during yesterday’s press conference at the SMC compound.
“We both have great imports, they have a great backcourt, but we also have a quick backcourt. So it’s a wonderful matchup. We expected San Miguel to be here the entire time.”
Although San Miguel had to go through the distance against Malaysia, 2-1, in the semifinals, the Beermen remain favored with Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero, Leo Avenido, Roger Yap, June Mar Fajardo and imports Nick Fazekas and Ducke Crews.
“We know it’s going to be a tough series and it’s going to come down to rebounding and defense,” said Banchero, who will be ranged against Indonesia’s speedy Fil-Am guard Stanley Pringle.
The Warriors boast a strong import duo in Steve Thomas and Evan Brock.