Basketball

Surprising Patriots happy to be on top of ABL standings

The AirAsia Philippine Patriots are more than satisfied with their place as the top team, so far, in the ASEAN Basketball League standings.

The Patriots hold the solo lead this season which also came as a surprise not only to observers but to head coach Glenn Capacio.

“Hindi ko inaasahan ito. Maybe it’s because of our system, maybe it’s because we are older,” said Capacio.

Ironically, being an older team is one of the reasons why their 7-1 win-loss card is quite surprising to some especially now that there is another Philippine ABL team in the San Miguel Beermen, which some believe to be the stronger team.

“We are really playing as a team right now. Maganda ang samahan at nag-e-enjoy lahat sa practice,” said Capacio.

The Patriots are the hottest team in the league racking up their sixth consecutive win over the weekend with an 80-72 win over the Bangkok Cobras to climb on top of the standings.

Now, the Patriots gear up for a showdown with the Beermen next Saturday, the lone team that beat them before they began their winning streak.

Capacio still believes that the San Miguel is a better team.

“Talent-wise talaga, dehado kami kasi ‘yung iba nilang players, naglaro na sa PBA. Kailangan namin daanin sa teamwork,” Capacio said.

The Beermen, meanwhile, were also on a three-game winning roll before dropping a 73-70 defeat against the Westport Malaysia Dragons Saturday.

The Beermen still have a solid win-loss record at 5-3 for third place, although head coach Bobby Parks remains cautious.

“We have been winning but we can’t just show up expecting an automatic win,” Parks said.

San Miguel trailed at halftime by 20 points, 40-20, after an impeccable shooting display by Malaysia. The Dragons converted a total of nine three-pointers in the game.

“I can’t take away the victory to Malaysia. We played better and got back in the game in the second half but Malaysia shot the ball really well in the first half,” Parks said.

San Miguel will have one more game before the Patriots match when they go against the Indonesia Warriors on Wednesday at the Ynares Arena.

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