After finishing fifth last season the Indonesia Warriors advanced to the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball Season 3 Finals after they defeated the AirAsia Philippine Patriots 72-51 earlier this afternoon. This will be Indonesia’s second trip to the final after finishing as runner-ups in the first season.
Steve Thomas was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points and 15 rebounds followed closely by Evan Brock’s 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors. Nakiea Miller was the Patriots’ score leader with 12 pts, followed by Anthony Johnson’s 11 for the Patriots who will miss the ABL final for the first time since the league started.
The Patriots picked the wrong time to go cold from the field. The Patriots scoring woes continued in this game as although they were generous with the attempts, the Patriots were simply unable to find the basket and converted just 9 out of 36 field goal attempts and only one out of 17 three point attempts in the first half. The Patriots were scoreless for nearly five minutes in the second quarter before Anthony Johnson put one in at the 5:10 minute mark. They went on to score only six points in the entire second period.
The Warriors were a little bit better, shooting at 38% from the field, which earned them the 13 point lead going into the halftime break. The Pringle-Brock combo was lethal in the first half and caused the Patriots all sorts of problems then drove it home with a stunning alley oop dunk from Pringle to Brock which got the crowd up on their feet late in the second quarter. Pringle then put in the last basket of the first half to send the Warriors into the halftime break with a 32-19 lead.
It was a more exciting second half which the Patriots entered on a 6 point run that quickly trimmed the Warriors lead down to just 7 points only to have Allan Salangsang answer with a 3 to give his team back a double digit lead. The Patriots continued to determinedly chase the lead but the Warriors were not about to let their home crowd down and entered the fourth quarter with a comfortable 49 to 36 lead.
The Warriors continued to dominate in the fourth quarter and the Patriots weren’t able to get closer than 10 points. To make matters worse, Anthony Johnson limped off with 1:49 left on the clock as their other import Miller was already sitting on 4 personal fouls. It was all about the Warriors as the clock wound down and the Warriors advanced to the AirAsia ABL Season 3 Finals with the 72-51 win and a 2-0 record in their playoff series. Now the Warriors will be watching Game 3 of the San Miguel Beermen and Westports Malaysia Dragons series closely next Saturday the 9th of June to see who they will face in the finals.
Warriors: Steve Thomas – 19pts, Evan Brock – 16pts, Mario Wuysang – 8pts, Stanley Pringle – 8pts, Rony Gunawan – 7pts, Allan Salangsang – 6pts, Jerick Canada – 3pts, Amin Prihantono – 3pts, Arki Wisnu – 2pts.
Patriots: Nakiea Miller – 12pts, Anthony Johnson – 11pts, Francis Adriano – 6pts, Al Vergara – 5pts, Eddie Laure – 4pts, Robert Wainwright – 3pts, Warren Ybanez – 2pts, Jonathan Fernandez – 2pts, John Aldrech Ramos – 2pts, Marcy Arellano – 2pts, Angelus Raymundo – 2pts.