Mon, 20 Nov 2000

Aspac reclaims Kobatama title after beating Panasia

JAKARTA (JP): Aspac reclaimed the title of the 2000 Nuvo Kobatama national basketball league championship at the Senayan indoor stadium here on Sunday after overwhelming Panasia Indosyntec of Bandung 77-53.

It was Aspac's third title after winning in 1995 and 1996. Aspac has now equaled the record set by Panasia, which was the league's champion in 1994, 1997 and 1998.

Earlier, the 1999 league's champion Mahaka Satria Muda won third place after defeating Indonesia Muda (IM) Texmaco 77-53 in another Jakarta-derby.

Aspac's tight defense prevented Panasia from playing offensive from the first quarter and allowed the home favorite to surpass Panasia 18-14.

The match tightened up in the second quarter, with Panasia trying its best to score in the three-point zone. Panasia managed to score 16 points to narrowly trail Aspac 30-35.

In the third quarter, Panasia worried Aspac players as both teams only had a one-point difference in the score of 46-45 for Aspac.

Panasia captain Johannis Winar scored 12 points and managed to execute three of four three-point throws for his team's temporary lead.

Only one minute after the fourth quarter started, Suko Daryono of Aspac received a short pass from center Saut Lambok Jonson and layed up to make it 47-46. Johannis, who scored an overall 23 points and made two rebounds, managed to extend Panasia's lead to 48-47 with free throws.

Ronald Median worked with Joko under the basket to pass Aspac 50-47 but Suko equaled it with a free throw.

However, Panasia failed to rebound after the tie and they could only watch as Aspac players enjoy themselves in a shooting spree.

Aspac coach Tjetjep Firmansyah attributed his team's success to professional management and a well-arranged training program.

"We have undergone a long process to become the champions. We have set up a training program, improved our management and encouraged the coaching crew to be more professional. Our victory is well-planned," he told a postmatch conference.

Another key to their success was the hiring of a physical trainer to improve the players physical fitness.

"The first day the players attended training center, their VO2 max (oxygen capacity in blood) only reached 45. Three weeks before the final four, nine of 12 players managed to improve their condition as their VO2 max reached 60; exceeding the IOC's VO2max standard of 55. Some of our players, including Antonius Ferry Rinaldo, were strong enough to play for four times 12 minutes."

Aspac team manager Irawan Haryono suggested Indonesia's national team compete in the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, to employ physical trainer to improve the players' fitness.

"The physical trainer should accompany the players from the beginning of the SEA Games' training program."

Panasia's coach Dedy Kuskanto admitted that his team was outclassed height-wise.

"Aspac has a bunch of tall players. We only have several tall players and they are not enough to block Aspac," he said.

Panasia made no blocking attempts during the final match, which was attended by some 5,000 spectators. (ivy)