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5 Mario Wuysang (INA)
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Increased awareness will be a major effect of World Cup 2023 hosting says Mario Wuysang

JAKARTA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023) - Veteran floor general Mario Wuysang sees Indonesia's hosting of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 as a chance to increase awareness for basketball in the country.

The 38-year-old Indonesian-American point guard has been the face of Indonesian basketball for nearly two decades, and he has seen the sport significantly grow in that time. He feels, however, that there is still much ground for basketball to gain, and the fact that Indonesia will be among the hosts of the World Cup 2023 will be huge in making people more aware of the game of basketball.

"I think hosting the World Cup will bring awareness to the sport as in Indonesia the number one sport is not basketball," he said. "I hope fans will understand what people such as myself have been doing for over ten years for the country."

It's unfortunate, though, that Wuysang will already be 44 years old when the World Cup tips off six years from now. That means the 1.75m playmaker won't don the national colors anymore, but he is not closing the door on helping the team out in other ways.

"I myself will definitely not be playing in the 2023 games, but who knows, I may still be able to help in other ways," he shared. "Only time will tell."

Many actually felt Wuysang already wouldn't be able to play for the national team this year as they competed in both the SEABA Championship 207 and the SEA Games 2017. In both tournaments, Indonesia placed second behind powerhouse Philippines.

"I feel we played our best under the conditions we were in," Wuysang explained. "We wanted to put out a better showing against the Philippines, but they are a strong team. I was pleased to finish with the silver."

When Wuysang does hang his sneakers, he will miss playing in front of Indonesia's home fans. He actually sees them wildly cheering in the World Cup 2023, and that should serve to boost Timnas Basket's chances of making waves. For the first time ever, Wuysang himself will be among those fans, and he will certainly give his all-out support for the national team.

"It’s always good playing in front of a home crowd," he said. "The support has to always be an advantage."