The Indonesia Warriors are just a game away from returning to the Asean Basketball League finals.
Scoring a rare victory in the Philippines, the Warriors beat the Philippine Patriots 74-63 at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City to claim Game 1 of their best-of-three semifinal series.
Indonesia hosts Game 2 at Britama Arena in Jakarta on June 3, and forward Rony Gunawan said he believed the Warriors would close out the series there.
“This away win boosts our confidence. We now believe that we can finish the series 2-0,” the Warriors captain told the Jakarta Globe by text message. “It was a great game and all our players contributed.”
The Warriors claimed their second straight win over the Patriots, having also come out on top 104-79 in their last regular-season meeting in April.
The playoff win came at a price, though, as Evan Brock left the game with a groin injury after just seven minutes. He had eight points and nine rebounds.
“We will have to make additional adjustments if Evan can’t go in the next game,” Warriors coach Todd Purves told the ABL website.
The Patriots suffered a scare when leading scorer Anthony Johnson went down at the end of the game. Johnson, who had 21 points, appeared to suffer an ankle injury.
In Brock’s absence, Stanley Pringle poured in 23 points while big man Steven Thomas had 17 points and 19 rebounds. The Warriors held former teammate Nakiea Miller, who finished with nine points and 14 rebounds, to 3-of-21 shooting.
“I’m really proud of my guys. It was a tough fight and I knew they were going to make a comeback,” Purves said.