Indonesia won't stop, can't stop now as they are at the beginning of where they want to be
JAKARTA (Indonesia) - Indonesia saw the end of their FIBA Asia Cup 2022 Quarter-Finals and FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 dreams on Monday but the program doesn't plan on throwing in the towel any time soon.
"We don't want to stop now. We just made one step. Every big goal starts with one small step."
All of Timnas Basket are choosing to stay the course despite missing next year's most prestigious hoops meet - which they will be co-hosting with the Philippines and Japan - after bowing out of the Asia Cup Qualification for Quarter-Finals.
"We don't want to be sad now," said head coach MIlos Pejic after their 108-58 defeat to China at the Istora Senayan. "We don't want to be disappointed now. We want to continue our program. We want to continue our hard work."
Eyes were on Indonesia heading into the Asia Cup as it would make or break their chances of making it to the World Cup next year. Unlike their co-hosts, they needed to make it to the Quarter-Final to guarantee a spot at the global competition.
Promising was the start of their campaign with a big win over Saudi Arabia, but things became tougher after losing to Australia and Jordan.
Then, ultimately, to China, who put out a masterclass and showed the home team the kind of level they should reach to compete in Asia.
"You could see the advantages and disadvantages. We tried our best but unfortunately, it wasn't the result that we wanted," lamented national team regular Arki Wisnu, who had six points in the defeat.
"We're gonna just keep learning from this whole experience in the FIBA Asia Cup. Be patient," the 34-year-old furthered.
Then again, Pejic and his team are keeping their heads up. The Serbian mentor said that they have just taken another step towards the main goal, which is to build Timnas to becoming the best team it can possibly be.
Pejic cited the gains of his team over the past few months, firstly by striking gold in the 31st Southeast Asian Games to now that they contended for a Quarter-Finals spot in the Asia Cup, a tournament they last played in back in 2011.
"Indonesia basketball is at the beginning of the level where we want to be. We want to be much higher. But that starting position is not bad," he said.
"After a couple of months, maybe one year, of hard work, we can say we did a great job. We represented Indonesia basketball the right way - at the SEA Games, now we went to the second round of the Asia Cup."
And that's exactly why Pejic and Timnas aren't going to stop whatever they have been doing just because of one goal that was not met.
"We don't want to stop now," the 53-year-old mentor said. "We just made one step. Every big goal starts with one small step."