The Indonesia Warriors headed back to the AirAsia 2013 ABL Finals and will have a shot to become the first team in the ABL to win back-to back championships following an 81-64 win to sweep the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the semi-final round.
Stanley Pringle was simply spectacular for the Warriors as he entertained the ABL fans with his killer crossovers as he led all scoring with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Chris Daniels also played a big part as he came up with hustle plays that led him to finish with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Mario Wuysang came up with a couple clutch baskets in the final quarter and he ended up with 17 points. Steven Thomas recorded a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
After missing the first two games in this series, Marcus Hubbard made an impact early after his two-handed jam put the Dragons 15-14 with 2 minutes left in the first period. But it was all Warriors after that as the Warriors finished the first quarter on a 8-0 run capped off by a short pull-up jumper from Pringle to beat the buzzer.
Momentum was still on the Warriors’ side at the start of the second quarter as Indonesia made a 7-0 run to open the second quarter which was started by a slam dunk from Daniels. The run gave the Warriors a 29-15 lead with 6 minutes left before halftime. During that stretch, Marcus Hubbard hurt his knee after going after a loose ball against Steven Thomas. After the incident, Hubbard was walking gingerly but was able to continue until the final buzzer. A layup from Wuysang and Pringle before halftime put the Warriors up 43-26 at the break.
Feeding off the energy from their home-crowd at MABA Stadium, Malaysia was trying to make a rally in the third quarter. Off a Warriors’ turnover, Julius Armon takes the ball up all the way to the rack and finished with a left handed layup to cut the Dragons’ deficit to 55-43 with 2 minutes left. With the Dragons regaining momentum, Pringle breaks their momentum with a tough shot against Hubbard with 1:19 left in the third period. Warriors were able to stretched their lead back to 63-47 after three period.
Early in the fourth quarter, Malaysia was trying to make a rally. A basket from Moala Tautuaa with 8:32 left got the Dragons within 13 points. Unfortunately for Malaysia, that was as close as they could get to the Warriors. Pringle ensured the Warriors’ ticket to the finals with a little floater in the lane with 3:45 left to put away the Dragons for good.
Justin Melton led the Dragons with 16 points while Gavin Edwards added 15 points. Hubbard finished with 11 points and Tautuaa chipped in 10 points for the Dragons who committed 21 turnovers in this game 3.
The Warriors will now wait for the winner between San Miguel Beermen and Sports Rev Thailand Slammers. Game 1 of the AirAsia 2013 ABL Finals will start on Friday June 7th, 2013.
Westports Malaysia Dragons: Melton – 16, Edwards – 15, Hubbard -11, Armon – 10,Tatuaa – 10, Batumalai – 2.
Indonesia Warriors: Pringle – 24, Daniels – 18, Wuysang – 17, Thomas – 10, Canada – 6, Prihantono – 3, Sitepu – 2, Smith – 1.