LIVE ON ESPN Game 82 Preview: Chang Thailand Slammers vs AirAsia Philippine Patriots

AirAsia Philippine Patriots’ leading scorer Anthony Johnson played through a groin injury and scored 26 points in the 90-84 win over Singapore Slingers last Saturday.

“We are not actually forcing Johnson to play his all since he’s not yet 100% from a groin injury he’s nursing but he’s just competitive.” said Patriots coach Glenn Capacio after the game.

The Patriots were down 53-64 early in the fourth quarter before Johnson sparked a comeback by scoring 20 points and helped to secure Patriots’ 15th win of the season. Nakiea Miller contributed a double-double for the Patriots with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

“We’re struggling in the first three quarters but I’m happy the boys played well down the stretch. It’s really hard to motivate the team since we are already in the playoffs. Luckily, they responded in the second half.” said Coach Capacio.

Although the results from the game won’t affect the standings, Coach Capacio will want his team to close the regular season out with a win over the Chang Thailand Slammers on Saturday to carry a momentum going into the first game in the playoffs. “We need to have the winning mood going into the semis series so it’s going to be business as usual for all of us,” said Coach Capacio. “Our main objective now is to gear up for the playoffs. We need to be in sharp form because winning Game 1 of the series will be important.”

The Patriots can sweep the season series against the Slammers with a win at the Thai Japanese Association Gym on Saturday. In their last meeting at Ynares Sports Arena, the Patriots got a huge 89-68 win over the Slammers. Calvin Williams led all scoring with 27 points and 20 rebounds for the Slammers in the loss.

It has been a rocky season for the defending champions this season but Slammers’ coach Felton Sealey would love to close their season with a win. The Slammers has not have any luck lately and will be coming in off a 94-79 loss to the Westports Malaysia Dragons.