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22 November, 2021
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Prastawa, Grahita encourage fans to be hyped up for Timnas homecoming

JAKARTA (Indonesia) - Indonesia are coming home.

After a lengthy trip in Australia, playing against teams in the NBL1 over the past month, Indonesia will soon head home back to Indonesia for final preparations heading into the third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers, as well as the FIBA Asia Cup 2022.

"I want [the fans] to feel entertained and enthusiastic about the window, for sure, because we need all the support from them."

 

Not only will they be "coming home" in the physical sense of returning from a journey abroad, Indonesia will also be "coming home" to play at their home venue, Istora Senayan, for the upcoming competitions as well.

The Indonesia national team have not played at home for two and a half years, since the first window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers when they hosts the Philippines and Korea. A lot has happened since then, which means there is a lot of anticipation built up for this "homecoming".

"It will feel good to play in our home especially after the pandemic and we’d love to entertain the crowd in Jakarta," said star guard Andaraka Prastawa Dhyaksa.

"Yeah! Finally, we are able to host the window and get the support from the home crowd," said scoring wing Abraham Damar Grahita. "It is very special for us because we really need every advantage that we can get."

It really is an important window for Indonesia in the World Cup Qualifiers. Timnas are currently winless after four games, and will be hosting Saudi Arabia and Jordan. There’s not room as for error as Indonesia will have to not only beat Jordan but to also beat Saudi Arabia by at least 29 points to even have a shot at qualifying for the Second Round.

But that’s why they’ve been deeply immersed in preparation for the past few months, whether it’s at their training camp exhibition tour in Australia or their South East Asian (SEA) Games campaign. Indonesia have not yet given up hope and they’re hoping that the fans are still hopeful for their team’s future, too.

"I want them to feel entertained and enthusiastic about the window, for sure because we need all the support from them," added Prastawa.

The fans might be expecting something a little bit extra from the team, considering their recent performances. Indonesia went through a historic SEA Games campaign where they won their first ever Gold medal, as well as beat the Philippines for the first time, stopping a long winning streak for the regional powerhouse. They also made significant changes to the roster, whether it is the addition of Marques Bolden or the return of an improved Derrick Michel Xzavierro.

 

"We know that expectation may pretty high since we just won the SEA Games, but [these upcoming competitions] are a different level of games. But yeah, if you expect nothing from us, we’ll surprise you with the very best of what we can do," said Grahita.

As mentioned, not only will Indonesia be playing at home for this upcoming window of the World Cup Qualifiers, they’ll also be hosts of the Asia Cup 2022. This relieves a bit of pressure from Indonesia since if they can’t advance to the Second Round of the World Cup Qualifiers, they can still lock up a spot at the World Cup by advancing to the Quarter-Final of Asia’s premier basketball competition.

That’s why it will be important for the fans to warm up their excitement during these upcoming World Cup Qualifiers games. Indonesia will face Jordan and Saudi Arabia yet again in the Group Phase of the Asia Cup, as well as Australia. It will be quite a tough task to advance from this group without their home crowd roaring in support around them.

"It will be really good to build up our confidence towards the Asia Cup and get ready," said Prastawa.

Grahita added in agreement: "It’s always good to having these kind of international games, especially in front of our home crowd, We hope that we’ll able to taste the atmosphere so that we can play our best games at the FIBA Asia Cup."

FIBA