MANILA -- The Philippine Patriots wanted to assure themselves of a hometown win as they face the upset-conscious Brunei Barracudas in the 1st Asean Basketball League Sunday.

Game time is set at 4 p.m. at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City with all eyes on American import Gabe Freeman, who will make his debut with the Patriots in Philippine soil.

The Patriots target the number one seed in the Final Four in the six nation tournament.

Currently the Patriots are the league's best team with a 10-4 card with the Singapore Slingers in second place (9-5) and Indonesia's Satria Muda BritAma (8-6).

The 25-year-old former San Miguel Beermen hotshot was a key player in the Patriots' comeback win against Thailand Tigers last January 17 after exploding 21 points, 14 rebounds, two steals and one block for 30 minutes of play.

“He has practiced for five days with the team, so we expect him to deliver more,” said team manager Mikee Romero. “We are hoping to win this game for a smooth entry into the Final Four.”

The Barracudas meanwhile will introduce a new import in the person of 27-year-old Australian center Simon Conn.

The Melbourne native is a 6-foot-9, 250-pound center, is also said to be an excellent passer and has good outside shooting skills.

The Patriots and Barracudas are even at 1-1.

On their first meeting last December 13, the incomplete Patriots were snapped by Barracudas with a masterful 95-70 victory in Bandar Seri Begawan. The game was supposed to be held last October 31 but was postponed due to Typhoon Santi.

But the team quickly recovered as they avenged one of their worst loss in the ABL by thumping hapless Barracudas, 70-56, last December 21. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)