A PROMINENT member of the Indonesian national team still believes the Philippines remains the hands-down favorite to win the men’s basketball gold in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
Christian Sitepu, a member of the Indonesia Warriors in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) tapped to play for the country in the December 11-22 showpiece, admitted it will be hard for the rest of the field to beat the Filipino cagers for the title especially after they just secured one of three Asian berths in the 2014 Fiba-World Cup in Spain.
Despite the long-standing dominance of the country in the sport closest to the hearts of the Filipinos, local sports officials remain guarded about the national team’s campaign that they even went to the extent of suggesting an all-pro unit be sent to Myanmar for a `sure gold medal.’
But Sitepu is convinced the Philippines will win the gold even if an all-amateur team will compose its roster.
“It’s very difficult to get a gold medal, and the management’s target is the bronze medal,” admitted Sitepu in an interview posted on the Indonesia Warriors website.
While he considers the Philippines a cinch for the gold, Sitepu said any country could challenge for the silver medal including Indonesia.
“I believe the chance to get a silver medal is still wide open,” he said.
Sitepu added the Indons will be bringing in players aged 30 and below for the tournament with ABL veterans Mario Wuysang and Amin Prihantono not included in the lineup.
“We have a fast-paced style of play, and all players can play in all positions. Our playing style is adjusted to the players we have in this squad,” said Sitepu.