As Johnson, Wisnu finally make debuts, Indonesia to have no fear vs Gilas

Jamarr Johnson

Indonesian head coach Wahyu Widayat Jati said his team will do their best when they collide with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 SEABA Championships in Manila later May 18.

“Honestly, it’s hard to beat the Philippines. But at least we will try. We won’t give up. We will try our best tomorrow,” the mentor said.

Indonesia finally played in full-strength on Wednesday, May 17 as they routed Myanmar, 123-50. The game saw naturalized forward Jamarr Johnson and Indonesian-American Arki Wisnu finally see action for the Indonesians.

Arki Wisnu

The two players’ debuts were delayed as they had to confirm to FIBA they have not yet played for another nation. Indonesia sent the letters last week, and got clearance last Tuesday.

With Johnson and Wisnu back in the line-up and with Indonesia’s well-organized system, the team was able to showcase their best performance of the SEABA so far, on the eve of their tournament-closing battle against Gilas.

“There’s more energy for us,” Jati said.

Abraham Grahita led seven double-digit scorers for the squad with 19 points. Johnson had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block in close to 22 minutes of play.

Ahead of their match against the powerhouse team in the region, Johnson and Wisnu said it is important to be unfazed by the upcoming challenge.

“At the end of the day, it’s basketball for us and we are ready to compete,” the 28-year-old Johnson said. “We’re gonna play our hearts out. I’m gonna play my heart out, do what I can so I can help my team win, whether that’s sacrificing my body, scoring, rebounding, whatever I have to do, I will do what I have to do.”

“Just not having fear, just playing regardless of the other team’s reputation. Just be ready to get in there and play basketball. We will play our best from the beginning and we will see the results at the end,” Wisnu, who finished with seven points in his debut, added.

Among competing teams in the SEABA, Indonesia hold the third best ranking at 72 although currently, they are undefeated with a 5-0 record.

The winner of the SEABA tournament moves on to the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon, and will have a shot at qualifying in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

While that remains a realistically difficult task for Indonesia, they remain confident in themselves and vow to give it their all.

“You know the Philippines has a high reputation but 40 minutes of basketball, that can change. We will play our hearts out and see what happens,” Johnson said.

Written by Levi Verora Jr
Photos by Glenn Michael Tan

2 Responses to As Johnson, Wisnu finally make debuts, Indonesia to have no fear vs Gilas

  1. Defenseminister says:

    wala yan. Gilas will still win by more than 30 points.

    • Skywalker says:

      Mga mas malalaki at malalakas na import sa PBA kaya ng mga pinoy yan pa e maliit lang yan.Baka ke The Beast at Jio Jalalon lang di maka drive yan plus andyan pa si Japeth lilipad lang bola sa supalpal na aabutin nyang mga yan.

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