Lack of Fiba clearance forces Jamarr Johnson to sit out Indonesia debut in Seaba
Naturalized player Jamarr Johnson failed to suit up for Indonesia in its opening game against Singapore on Friday. Jerome Ascano

LACK of clearance from the Fiba-Asia forced Indonesia to sit out naturalized player Jamarr Johnson in its debut game in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship on Friday.

Sources said Johnson has yet to submit all the necessary papers needed to be eligible to suit up for the Indonesian squad.

Nonetheless, his absence hardly mattered as Indonesia cruised to a 71-40 win over Singapore in the tournament's opening game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Also not allowed to play for the same reason was Arki Wisnu, even although the 6-foot-2 forward already played for Indonesia's national team previously, including the last Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.

"That's why I'm surprised," said Wisnu after the game. "I don't know what happened."

Johnson was just as stunned.

"I was notified this morning in practice. It was shocking," said the New Jersey-raised forward. "I felt kind of disappointed at first, but they say everything takes time."

Johnson added both his and Wisnu's papers had already been submitted to Fiba-Asia. The bone of contention for him was a claim that he previously played for the US national team - a charge which the player denies.

"We're just waiting for the USBA to clear me but I've never played for the US national team," said the 6-foot-5 Johnson.

"We're just waiting for the US to clear me."

Both players stayed positive they'll be given the go-signal to play, hopefully by Saturday when the Indons take on Malaysia.

"Hopefully it does not stagnate the process (of me) playing in the Seaba too much," added Johnson.

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