JAKARTA, Indonesia (ABL Season 3): The first individual player award to be announced for the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League Season 3 went to Steven Thomas of the Indonesia Warriors, who on Tuesday was named the 2012 ABL Defensive Player of the Year.
Thomas received the most votes from all the head coaches in the league, surpassing fellow nominees Nakiea Miller of AirAsia Philippine Patriots and Louis Graham of JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers.
“It’s a very humbling experience for me. It’s a blessing to win this award. I take pride on my defense. But I think it’s a team game. You got to have all five guys on the same page. I just try to be a leader on the defensive end,” said Thomas, who led the league in rebounding during the regular season with 14.67 rebounds per game.
“We have a bigger task on Saturday. We know it’s going to be tough game playing on the road against San Miguel Beermen. But we are excited and ready to play,” said Thomas about the upcoming decisive Game 3 of the Finals on Saturday.
The Warriors posted an 81-61 win in Game 2 of the ABL Season 3 Finals on Saturday to nullify the lead San Miguel Beermen had taken with their 86-83 win in Game 1 a week earlier.
Warriors coach Todd Purves, who on Monday was voted as the Coach of the Year, was pleased to hear of the award to Thomas, his starting center.
“Thomas’ work ethic and his efforts on a day to day basis really set the standard for our team. I’m very happy that he’s being acknowledged by his peers and head coaches. He’s been the unquestioned leader for our team and a coach’s dream,” said Purves.