Warriors stun Beermen
FOR THE second straight season, the Philippines watched a foreign team steal the crown at home.
A gritty Indonesian squad held off San Miguel Beer’s late rally to stun the top seeds, 78-76, and capture the Asean Basketball League championship yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Beermen fell short of their comeback from 10 points down, 61-71, in the last four minutes as reigning MVP Leo Avenido also missed a potential game-tying layup in the dying seconds.
Stanley Pringle—the Filipino-American guard suiting up as an import for Indonesia—unloaded a game-high 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Warriors in upsetting the Beermen, 2-1, in the best-of-three series.
“We never expected to win in front of a hostile crowd, we expected them to get back,” said Indonesia’s American coach Todd Purves.
Finals MVP Evan Brock came up with another double-double effort of 15 points and 16 rebounds and Steve Thomas chipped in 10 markers to help the Warriors clinch their first crown in three seasons.
“We performed when it mattered the most,” said Purves, whose Warriors led by as many as 13 points, 70-57, in the final quarter.
The Beermen’s painful loss was a repeat of last season where another Philippine squad, the inaugural champion AirAsia Philipine Patriots, got swept at home by the Chang Thailand Slammers, 2-0, in the finals.
“Our shooters didn’t shoot well, it just wasn’t happening tonight,” said San Miguel coach Bobby Parks.
In Game 1, the Beermen rallied from 14 points down and forge an 86-83 escape at home. But the Warriors pulled off an emphatic 81-61 victory in Game 2.
INDONESIA 78—Pringle 28, Brock 15, Thomas 10, Cañada 7, Salangsang 7, Wuysang 4, Wisnu 4, Prihantono 3, Gunawan 0, Sitepu 0.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 76—Crews 29, Banchero 16, Fazekas 11, Avenido 9 Fajardo 8, Baguion 3, Luanzon 0, Fernandez 0, Yap 0.
Quarters: 19-13, 38-33, 64-53, 78-76