MANILA -- Sticking to the game plan and bucking the presence of a hostile crowd proved vital as the Philippine Patriots crushed the hopes of Satria Muda BritAma Sunday night to bag the inaugural Asean Basketball League (ABL) crown in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Patriots relied anew on import standout Jason Dixon by exploding 28 points and 12 rebounds while Gabe Freeman had 17 markers and 19 boards to lift the Patriots, 75-67, and completed a three-game sweep of their short best-of-five title series after winning Games 1 and 2 in Manila, 78-68, and 72-53.

“It’s nice to win a championship again. I told the boys to play as if we’re in the jungle and they responded well,” said Alas, who last tasted a championship with the Letran Knights in 2005.

Again, Alas said the key to their win is defense, saying “the whole season we really emphasized on defense, especially this series."

After trailing 13-17 in the first quarter, the Patriots zoomed offensively for a slim 35-31 halftime finish. The Patriots then banked on a 13-point lead in the third canto to make it 68-52 early in the pay-off period when Christian Coronel completed a steal and Freeman scored on an inside play.

“This has been a fantastic start to our inaugural season and the league can only get stronger from here on out,” said Kuhan Foo, chief executive officer of the ABL in a statement.

Rony Gunawan paced the losing effort of the Indonesians with 20 points and seven rebounds while the import duo of Alexander Hartman and Nakiea Miller finished only with 14 and 13 points, respectively. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)