Warriors on the Cusp of Living Out Their ABL Dream
The Indonesia Warriors have been dreaming about winning the title since the start of the Asean Basketball League season and now they are ready to make that ambition come true.
The Warriors are today visiting the Philippines to play Game 1 of the regional league’s championship series against the San Miguel Beermen.
It will be the Warriors’ second appearance in the ABL finals. The first was during the inaugural season in 2009, when they were still known as Satria Muda Britama and lost to the Philippine Patriots.
“We really want the trophy,” Warriors captain Rony Gunawan said on Friday. “San Miguel Beermen is a really tough opponent but we’ll try our best. We won’t let it slip away this time and it’ll be easier if we can win the first game.”
It’ll be a tough final indeed for the Indonesian team as the Filipinos won all three of their duels in the regular season.
That’s why Warriors coach Todd Purves has urged all of his players to step up in the best-of-three series.
“I am asking different players to deliver in different areas,” the US coach said.
“I expect Mario [Wuysang], Rony Gunawan and Jerick Canada to make the game easy for their teammates.
“But I’m also looking for defensive guys like Christian Ronaldo, Amin Prihantono, Allan Salangsang, and Arki Dikania Wisnu to deliver with their skill sets as well. It must be a team effort.”
One of the main storylines heading into the series is the battle between the league’s top two point guards, Warriors’ Stanley Pringle and Beermen’s Chris Banchero.
“I’m not really worried about match-ups,” Pringle said on the ABL website. “I just want to play hard and play smart as a team.”
For his part, Banchero is expecting a tough series.
“It’s going to come down to rebounding and defense. If we can do a good job of rebounding and defense, we will be in a good shape,” he said.
The game starts at 3 p.m. Jakarta time. The Warriors will host Game 2 at Jakarta’s Mahaka Square next Saturday.