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    Indonesia coach Milos Pejic and training director Rajko Toroman plot Gilas' fall at the SEA Games.
    Indonesia coach Milos Pejic and training director Rajko Toroman plot Gilas' fall at the SEA Games.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    INDONESIA said its landmark basketball gold medal at the 31st Southeast Asian Games was three years in the making.

    The Indonesians put on a gritty performance on Sunday, pulling off an 85-81 win over Gilas Pilipinas that ended the Philippines' 33-year reign as the basketball king in the region.

    Indonesia celebrates the historic gold medal.

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    The king-sized upset dubbed the 'Horror in Hanoi' stunned basketball fans in the country, but Indonesia's coaches said it was but a culmination of a plan that was put in place a couple of years ago.

    “This team is in the system the last three years,” said Milos Pejic, the head coach of Indonesia who works with training director and former Gilas Pilipinas coach Rajko Toroman. “We gave a hundred percent for the gold.”

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    Among the central figures in the gold run was Abraham Damar Grahita, who had 17 points on Sunday. The star of Prawira Bandung in the Indonesia pro league was already part of the Indonesia team that missed a medal in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila.

    Pejic said the SEA Games victory only proved that Indonesia can compete in the upcoming Fiba Asia Cup which it will host from July 12 to 24.

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    Indonesia has a lot to play for in the regional showcase, needing bo less than a quarterfinal finish in order to qualify for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup which the country is co-hosting with the Philippines and Japan.

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      “We played a good game. We played a brave game. We played physical against one of the best teams in Asia,” said Pejic.

      “That shows us we can play and compete in the Asia Cup. For me, that’s the main reason to be satisfied," he added. "We saw that we can play in the Asia Cup level. That’s very good. Congratulations to the guys. They played 100 percent, six games in seven days.”

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      Indonesia coach Milos Pejic and training director Rajko Toroman plot Gilas' fall at the SEA Games.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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