JAKARTA – It seemed ominous when the coliseum barker at the Mahaka Square asked the crowd: “Indonesia, are you ready for a Game 3 in the Philippines?” during one deadball situation in the second quarter of yesterday’s Game 2.
True enough, the Indonesia Warriors, fuelled by survival instinct and pride, thwarted the projected coronation of San Miguel Beer via an 81-61 rout to force a winner-take-all Game 3 in the third AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League .
Playing with more urgency, the Warriors outfought the title-seeking Beermen basket for basket , rebound for rebound, looseball for looseball, seizing a double-digit margin at the start of the second and never letting up to tie the series at 1-1.
The rubbermatch will be played on Saturday at the Beermen’s turf, Ynares Sports Arena.
“I expected the effort from the team,” said Warriors’ coach Todd Purves, whose wards shot a high 48 percent (31-of-65) spiked by a 38-percent clip from three-point territory (6-of-16) while outrebounding SMB, 31-21, for 14 second chance points.
Purves got his usual numbers from import Evan Brock, who fired 26 points, an output that matched the combined production of SMB’s Duke Crews (16) and Nick Fazekas (10), to go with 16 boards and Fil-Am Stanley Pringle (13 points).
He made an conscious effort to give more minutes to his bench, who responded by scoring 24 points, 17 more than their output in their 83-86 setback in Game 1. Arki Wisnu chipped in seven points and Jerrick Canada added nine, figuring in Indonesia’s big runs that put them safely ahead by 21 at the most.
“We’ve made some minor adjustments, including keeping some fresh legs down the stretch. We need the full 40 minutes to beat this team (San Miguel) because in Game 1, we played a good 35 minutes and lost the game,” said Purves.
Confettis were sprayed onto the court while white and red balloons dropped from the catwalk as the buzzer sounded, getting everything back to square one.
“We just go back on Saturday and do what we’re supposed to do,” said SMB coach Bobby Parks.
Indonesia 81 – Brock 26, Pringle 13, Thomas 12, Canada 9, Wisnu 7, Wuysang 4, Phihantono 3, Gunawan 3, Wibawa 2, Salangsang 2, Restanto 0, Sitepu 0.
San Miguel Beer 61 – Crews 16, Avenido 13, Fazekas 10, Yap 8, Banchero 6, Fernandez 5, Fajardo 3, Luanzon 0, Baguion 0, Ferriols 0, Gonzales 0, Dimaunahan 0.
Quarterscores 24-23, 42-33, 64-49, 81-61.