Thu, 13 Apr 2000

Defending champion CLS too powerful for Aspac

JAKARTA (JP): Defending champion Cahaya Lestari Surabaya (CLS) proved its quality by cruising into the final of the Megawati Soekarnoputri Cup women's basketball tournament at Senayan basketball stadium here.

CLS, winner of pool A, outclassed pool B runner-up Aspac of Jakarta 99-51 on Wednesday. CLS, the champion of the women's basketball league since 1996, is expected to meet Merah Putih (MP) Medco of Jakarta in Friday's final, which will be broadcast live by state-owned TVRI.

CLS collected six points in its pool by winning all three of its games. It defeated Utama of Yogyakarta 71-43 in their game late on Tuesday.

MP was scheduled to face Rajawali of Bandung. If Rajawali, the runner-up in pool A, lose to MP, it will face Aspac on Friday for third place.

MP tops pool B with the six points it earned by winning all three of its games. On Tuesday night, MP defeated Sahabat of Surabaya 62-53.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bhinneka Sritex Solo overcame Rajawali Sakti of Surabaya 73-46. Bhinneka will face Sahabat in a match on Thursday to decide fifth and sixth place in the tournament.

Sahabat overcame Utama 65-62 in another match on Wednesday. Utama will next meet Rajawali Sakti to determine the bottom two places in the tournament.

Despite the fact that CLS showed it was the team to beat in the tournament, coach Wellyanto Pribadi remained hesitant to guarantee his team would win the Cup.

"We want to play our best. If we can do so, we will win the tournament," he said after the game.

He said MP had a similar style of play as his team. "MP's players are more powerful and more persistent than our players. But each player has their own specialty, and I think we can tame our opponents," he said.

He also said CLS had eight players who were being groomed to represent East Java at the 15th National Games (PON), which will be held from June 19 to June 30. He also said one player from his team would represent East Kalimantan at PON.

Wellyanto said the results of the tournament did not guarantee East Java would win gold at PON.

"Jakarta has good players from MP and Aspac," he said.(ivy)