Filed Under: Basketball, ABL, Asean Basketball League, Philippine Patriots, Brunei Barracudas, Louie Alas, Warren Ybanez, Anthony Johnson
MANILA—An aggressive defensive game is what coach Louie Alas expects from the Philippine Patriots in their back-to-back championship bid in the AirAsia Asean Basketball League Season 2.
The Patriots clash with the Brunei Barracudas at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena, a day after the league opens with the Kuala Lumpur Dragons facing the Thailand Slammers at 8 p.m. Saturday in Bangkok.
“I’m not yet impressed with our defense, we need to put more teeth to be more competitive,” said Alas. “Still, we’re ready to defend our title.”
The Patriots, led by last season’s Finals MVP Warren Ybañez, are reinforced by former PBA import Anthony Johnson and the 6-foot-11 Donald Little, a European veteran.
The Patriots have only three holdovers in Ybañez, JP Alcaraz and Erwin Sta. Maria, but reinforced their squad with ex-pros Alex Crisano and Egay Billiones and former collegiate standouts Benedict Fernandez, Pari Llagas and Kelvin Gregorio.
“We have to be a good defensive and running team, that was our formula in winning the title last year,” said Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero, who co-owns the team with businessman Tony Boy Cojuangco.