Saturday, 12 February 2011

Alas to Patriots: No more return trip to Bangkok

Posted by chardyboy on Saturday, February 12, 2011 0 comments


Philippine Patriots coach Louie Alas does not want to return to Bangkok after they begin their best-of-three title series against the Chang Thailand Slammers for the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Season 2 crown.

The Slammers, who finished the elimination round with a league-best 11-4 record, enjoy the homecourt advantage in the short title series, with Game 3, if necessary, to be played again in Bangkok. The Philippines will host Game 2.

And that's the reason why Alas, who left with the team early Friday morning, wants the Patriots to start strong and play tough defensively against the Slammers. "We have to play consistently from start to finish and we’ve got no margin for error."

Alas, who expects the series to be tough and exciting, added that going back to Bangkok for Game 3 could be disastrous.

"In a short title series like this, you have to give it your best shot right away. It's very hard to beat a home team on judgment day, many factors will come into play."

He said that it's sweeter to win a title via a sweep, just like what they did against Indonesia's Satria Muda BritAma in last year's finals.

As in their semis series against the Kuala Lumpur Dragons, Alas said local players like Egay Billones, Junjun Cabatu, Chito Jaime, Benedict Fernandez, JP Alcaraz and Warren Ybanez should step up to ease the pressure from imports Gabe Freeman and Steve Thomas.

The high-leaping Freeman, who logged in 20-point and 10-rebound averages in the semis, understands the situation very well, and said he’s willing to sacrifice everything again just to ensure the team's success.

"If Egay and Bene (Fernandez) make their shots, then we have a good chance of winning the championship again. But for us to win, we have to play solid defensively," said Freeman.


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