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Heavily prepared Indonesia to prove that they deserve the chance for World Cup qualification
JAKARTA (Indonesia) - Indonesia will be one of the most ambitious teams heading into the first window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers. Not only are they one of the teams on the hunt for a World Cup debut, they are also one of the three teams that will be making their first appearance in the World Cup Qualifiers.
"We want to show that we aren't taking this for granted and we fight until the end."
Because they have a lot of ground to cover compared to some of the other established teams in the competition, Indonesia have had to put in a bit of extra effort in preparing their squad. Among Asian Qualifiers teams, Indonesia are among one of the earliest to gather as a team.
They’ve had plenty of preparation games played against Local teams in Indonesia. More importantly, they are now on yet another trip to the USA for an extensive training camp before flying out to play their first two games of Window 1.
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Most of the player are quite familiar with each other already, having played with one another on multiple occasions. However, this intense period learning together as a team should forge and even stronger bond than before.
Players like promising center Vincent Rivaldi Kosasih certainly sees it as something that can be an advantage for them when they eventually take the court.
"Most of us have already played together for quite a while," said Kosasih. Of the names listed in the preliminary roster, the only player that didn’t play in the Asia Cup Qualifiers was Muhamad Sandy Ibrahim Aziz.
"We learned a lot from the previous tune-up games, made some adjustments, communicated better, and we definitely tried our best to get better in each practice to make those adjustments. I think that’s what we have improved on the most so far."
The World Cup qualification process is a long one. The World Cup Qualifiers start in less than a week and will take nearly two years to go through the entire process. There’s still a long way to go, but Kosasih is still in awe that Indonesia are in a position to make it to the World Cup in 2023.
"Personally, it has never came to my mind before to have a chance to qualify for the World Cup and I will definitely do my best for it. I think this is a really rare and important opportunity, probably the biggest opportunity we have ever had in the history of Indonesia basketball. So I’m really glad and proud."
Indonesia will serve as one of the host nations for the early stages of the World Cup in 2023. However, their qualification status is not locked up as that of co-hosts Philippines and Japan as they will have to either qualify outright from the World Cup Qualifiers or advance to the Quarter-Finals of the upcoming Asia Cup.
Nonetheless, in spite of Indonesia’s World Cup qualification status TBD, it’s not every day that you can come this close to playing in front of your hometown fans at the biggest stage of basketball competition.
"Of course it would feel great," said Kosasih about the prospect of playing at home for the World Cup. "We need to have fun playing in front of our home fans and we’ll definitely get a lot of positive energy from them. We’ll do our best to make them proud."
If Indonesia succeeds in qualifying for the World Cup, it should boost the development of basketball to reach unprecedented heights. "Timas" has consistently put their improvement on display over the past few years from the players, team officials, and all people involved in the basketball scene and they can keep that going by making the next step here.
Their first opponent in the Qualifiers is a tough crew in Lebanon. The perennial Asia Cup contenders are hungry for a World Cup spot, especially after missing out in heartbreaking fashion back in 2019.
Nonetheless, if Kosasih and Indonesia want to showcase how hungry they are for this opportunity, they can’t back down even when going up against one of the best in Asia.
"The coaches have made some evaluations of the [opposing] players and we made adjustments according to what they told us. I think we have to be confident and communication among us must be better."
Now is their chance to prove that they belong among these top teams.
"We’re trying to show people that we really deserve the chance of qualifying for the World Cup. We want to show that we aren’t taking this for granted and we fight until the end."