Purves enjoys Warriors' journey

Indonesia Warriors coach Todd Purves admits his second trip to the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals is proving to be a much more enjoyable experience.

Todd Purves.
Marcus Chhan

By Marcus Chhan

It's not that there weren't any good bits about last season's experience, the Warriors did upset the ABL order by defeating the league's top ranked team the San Miguel Beermen in a decisive third game to win the Championship in 2012.

But, last season's Finals was mostly new territory for everyone involved with the Warriors, and so this year's return feels far more comfortable than ever before.

In case you missed it, Purves has taken the Indonesia Warriors from a struggling team unsure of their post-season status, to a Championship, and back again to the Finals the following year with the chance of creating ABL history by securing back-to-back titles.

"Obviously, I am proud to be in the Finals again," Purves told FOX Sports.

"It was a long road. The year before I showed up, they had five wins, and finished second to last place, so we've had a lot of building to do. It feels great and I've got a wonderful group of guys to share it [this experience] with."

Purves' impact on the Warriors cannot be understated. He joined last season after spending six seasons with the NBA's Sacramento Kings' front office staff as video coordinator and advance scout.

After a battle just to secure a spot in the Playoffs, the Warriors swept the second ranked AirAsia Philippine Patriots - they no longer play in the ABL - in the Semi-finals before winning the Finals against San Miguel.

Eager to prove their success last season was not just a flash in the pan, the Warriors secured second place in 2013 ABL regular season before sweeping the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the Semi-finals to punch a second successive ticket to the Championship series, which is now a best-of-five series.

"I think there is just a collective level of enthusiasm [at the moment] and fans can appreciate a higher level of basketball than they have experienced before [in Indonesia]," Purves said.

He added: "There is some pressure, but the truth is yes I am able to enjoy this success a little bit more this time. Last time being my first year, it was a little bit different."

The 2013 ABL Finals begins Friday where they face a familiar foe in the San Miguel Beermen once more for another shot at glory.

The Filipinos have home court advantage for the best-of-five series after they piled up the wins in record breaking fashion - including a 16-game win streak to end the regular season - to take top seeding again for the Playoffs.

Games 1 and 2 are in the Philippines before the series shifts to Indonesia.

2013 ABL Playoffs Game Centre

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