Sat, 11 Jan 2003

Clubs hesitant to join League games

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Clubs were hesitant in joining the touted Indonesian Basketball League (LBI) because of a lack of vision, Indonesia's basketball governing body Perbasi says.

LBI is the new basketball tournament with a new format to replace the 'Kobatama', which used to feature 10 clubs playing in four series.

Although the format for the LBI has yet to be talked over, it's likely the tournament will adopt the home-and-away system.

However, the proposal faces a far from certain future as only Jakarta-based Satria Muda and Medan-based Angsapura have reportedly registered.

"There are still disparities in vision among the clubs. I hope they can decide on their own what form of competition they like to have," Perbasi's deputy chairman Erick Tohir said after the inauguration of the new organization's executive board here on Friday.

Erick said some clubs were unsure of the Rp 500 million (US$55,555) deposit they were expected to pay to tournament organizers.

"Such cash should be paid by each franchise, like the system practiced in foreign countries," Erick said.

A meeting between organizers and clubs would be held next Wednesday to talk the issue through, he said.

"Some clubs can't see the commercial opportunities of being involved in the competition," Erick said, adding that if agreed on, games would commence in March.

Meanwhile, Perbasi chairman Sutiyoso, who is also the Jakarta Governor, said Perbasi would be seeking to break into the top eight Asian teams this year after being absent from any Asian tournament for more than a decade.