With only one import in their line-up, the AirAsia Philippine Patriots struggled to find their usual form bowing to the Indonesia Warriors, 104-79, Saturday in the ASEAN Basketball League at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Evan Brock led the Warriors with 23 points while Filipino-American guard Stanley Pringle added 22 points to beat the Patriots, who played with only Anthony Johnson as their reinforcement.
The Patriots was forced to play with a lone import after Chris Alexander left to take care of pressing family issues. Nakiea Miller was rehired last Friday to take Alexander’s place but will only be eligible to play after three days.
Even with the Patriots not at full strength, Indonesia coach Todd Purves said that the Warriors had a difficult time taking the victory.
“The score was not indicative of how this game was. It was a gallant fight and I only got comfortable in the last minute of the game,” Purves said.
“I’m well aware that they only had one import. I’m sure that if we were blessed to face them again in the next round, it’s going to be a different team. I knew that regardless of whether they had an import or not, it was going to be a battle.”
Johnson had a game-high 32 points while Aldrech Ramos had 14 points. But the Patriots could not hit the mark from the outside, making only one of their 15 shots from three-point range.
In contrast, the Warriors shot six from the three-point stripe in the first half to grab a 49-36 lead. The Patriots, however, had a bunch of mini-runs in the third period to come to within five points, 69-64.
But AirAsia Philippines could not sustain the momentum. The Warriors had a 12-4 run to open the fourth started by a three from Filipino and ex-Patriot Allan Salangsang. Indonesia never looked back as they continued to snipe from the three-point range finishing with 13 in the game.