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Double joy for Indonesian basketball fans

14 June, 2015   Ng Pin Li, Von Samonte, Jaclynn Seah, Charlene Seet

The Indonesian basketball fans might have been outnumbered by the supporters from host country Singapore - in numbers, and noise level - at OCBC Arena, but they certainly have a lot more to celebrate tonight with both their men’s and women’s basketball teams headed to the finals.

This afternoon, the Indonesian women’s team managed to upset the 2-time SEA Games champions Thailand 52-46. 1.83m Gabriel Sophia was a key factor for the win, using her height and scoring at critical junctures; she contributed 14 points and 7 rebounds in total. With this win, Indonesia will secure at least a silver in the women’s tournament, equalling their performance from the 1991 SEA Games.

Indonesia Women’s Team celebrating after the win against Thailand 52-46 in basketball. Photo by: Amirah Liyaba Reduwan/SINGSOC

Indonesia Women’s Team celebrating after the win against Thailand. Photo by: Amirah Liyaba Reduwa/SINSGOC

Later that evening, the Indonesian men’s team faced host team Singapore who had upset Thailand the night before. Despite thunderous cheers from a largely Singaporean crowd, the Indonesian team took an early lead from the first quarter and never looked back, booking their place in the finals with a score of 87-74.

Indonesia’s 45% shooting percentage was a clear factor in securing the win over Singapore, who only shot 34%. Strong 3-point shooting also put Indonesia ahead, with five players scoring 9 long range shots to Singapore’s 4.

Indonesia #5 Mario Wuysang scored 3/5 3-pointers and contributed 12pts in total. Photo by Tan Zhi Min/SINGSOC
Indonesia #5 Mario Wuysang scored 3/5 3-pointers and contributed 12pts in total. Photo by Tan Zhi Min/SINGSOC

Amongst the sea of Singapore fans were Indonesian supporters Celine and Jessy, who were chanting “IN-DO-NE-SIA” excitedly with the players as the final whistle blew. Both girls, who also caught the earlier Women’s game, were really happy and excited as “we won two matches today!” A dedicated Indonesian supporter, Celine specially flew in from Australia to lend support to the team. They hope to be present tomorrow to continue to cheer on the Men’s Team, but have yet to secure tickets. “Hopefully we will get tickets (for tomorrow’s finals), because we heard it was sold out,” Jessy added.

Indonesia Women’s Team celebrating after the win against Thailand 52-46 in basketball. Photo by: Amirah Liyaba Reduwan/SINGSOC

The Indonesian fans might be small in numbers, but watch them cheer out loud for their team.Photo by: Gavin Lee/SINGSOC

The Indonesian men’s last silver medal in basketball for the men was earned in the 2007 SEA Games, and they face 17-time champion Philippines in tomorrow’s finals. Earlier in the group stage, Indonesia had lost to Philippines 52-81, so they will face an uphill battle then.

In the other semi-finals match, defending champions Philippines met with strong resistance from Thailand, who took an early lead by as much as 12-points, but the Philippines were able to overcome the 10-point deficit in the third quarter, taking the lead and eventually closing out the game at 80-75 much to the joy of their screaming fans.

Indonesia’s women’s team have finished all their matches and are currently top of the table. They wait to see Malaysia’s performance against Vietnam which will determine their final standing.

The Men’s Basketball finals between Indonesia and Philippines will take place at the OCBC Arena, Hall 1, at 8pm tomorrow.

The bronze medal match is a rematch between Singapore and Thailand which will take place earlier at 6pm. Singapore beat Thailand earlier in the group stages 65-58, but will face a challenge after losing key player Captain Desmond to injuries suffered during the semi-finals match. It remains to be seen whether he will be fit for the bronze medal match.

This author of this article is a volunteer content producer with Team Nila. For more content produced by Team Nila, please head to the 28th SEA Games Social Wall.

SEA Games tv app. Photo: SINGSOC