Mon, 20 Nov 2000

Andi paves way to become national basketball player

JAKARTA (JP): For Andi Poejakusuma, the 2000 Nuvo Kobatama national basketball league and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) titles are a good start in his basketball career.

On Sunday evening, he helped his club Aspac of Jakarta to lift the Cup for the third time since Kobatama turned into a semipro league in 1994.

Andi scored 20 points and made one assist in the league's final when Aspac beat Bandung-based Panasia Indosyntec 75-66 here. Both teams have equal winning records. Panasia was the league's champion in 1994, 1997 and 1998.

"We have been preparing for this league for one year. We wanted to win the overall title this year. We lost in the semifinals last year because we were overconfident. Besides, it would be a nice gift for my birthday," said Andi, who was born on Nov. 8, 1980.

Andi, who is fondly called Batam after his birthplace, said that his most ambitious plan now was to become a national basketball player.

"I wish I could play in the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. I want Indonesia to win the gold medal in the regional event."

He refused to talk about his future in sports.

"I don't know when I will quit playing basketball. As long as I can play, I will do it. If I think I cannot make money through basketball, I will look for another job," said the first of two children of his father Eddy Syaf and mother Yourna Nuraini.

Andi started playing basketball, when he was only 10 years old, in an elementary school in his hometown in Batam. "I played basketball as a hobby. But I gradually got absorbed into the sport and I just can't quit now."

In 1996, he moved to Jakarta to continue his studies. "My parents asked me to study in Singapore but I refused as I may not have the chance to play in a basketball club there."

Two years later he joined Aspac."I think Aspac is an experienced team. Each year the team qualifies for the finals and semifinals," he said.

The team provides its players with accommodation and a monthly stipend. Like some semipro clubs which have their own sponsors, Aspac also pays for its players' tuition fees. Outstanding players of this club are also given recommendations when seeking employment.

"I used to think of Aspac as a stepping stone for another career. But now I enjoy playing basketball. Besides training and playing in the league, Aspac also pays for my tuition fee," said Andi, a third semester student at the School of Machinery Engineering of Atma Jaya Catholic University. (ivy)