JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - In a draw conducted here Tuesday, Indonesia’s men’s basketball team for the 26th Sea Games was placed in Group B along with Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar.
Meanwhile, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam were to play in Group A. According to Fictor Gideaon Roring, the Indonesian team’s assistant coach, the result of the draw was as predicted, and Indonesia could expect tough competition from Malaysia and Singapore.
"Our strength is on a par with Malaysia’s and Singapore’s but we are quite ready to face them," said Fictor.
Speaking about Myanmar, Fictor said Indonesia had no idea about their strength because Myanmar had been absent from the Sea Games for a long time.
"Myanmar did not take part in four Sea Games, so, frankly speaking, we know nothing about their strategy," he said.
Fictor said he was quite optimistic the Indonesian team would be able to beat its Malaysia and Singaporean rivals and eventually emerging as the group’s champion.
"We are optimistic because we do know a lot about Malaysia’s and Singapore’s strengths. We faced them several times in the past, most recently in the SEABA Championship last June," he added.
Meanwhile, Syailendra, the Indonesian basketball team’s manager, said "We are ready to fight for the gold medal although our opponents will not be easy to beat, We are ready."
The placement of the men’s teams in the two groups was based on the ranking each of the countries achieved at the last SEA Games which was held in Thailand in 2007. At the time, the Philippines won gold, Indonesia silver l and Malaysia bronze.
Therefore, the Philippines as the previous champion would not meet Indonesia as the runner up in the sane group. No draw was conducted for women’s teams as they would participate in the games under a semi-competition system.
Only five countries had registered for women’s basketball competitions, namely Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Indonesia.