Fri, 18 May 2001

Indonesia Muda buries Bima Sakti beneath avalanche of threes

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia Muda (IM) of Jakarta came from behind to crush Bima Sakti Nikko Steel Malang 92-73 on the last day of the 2001 Nuvo Kobatama national basketball league's third leg on Thursday.

In other action, Jakarta-based Dwidasa Mitra defeated Bali Jeff Citra Satria Pelita (CSP) 70-57.

Despite the victory, Dwidasa failed to move up in the standings in the 10-team league, remaining in seventh place with 19 points. CSP stands in sixth place with 19 points from 14 matches. IM is in fifth place with 20 points, while lowly Bima Sakti is in ninth place with 17 points.

On the court, Bima Sakti jumped to an early 18-14 lead over IM. Late in the first quarter, IM began to rely on the three- point shot, bombing away from behind the arc. This was a stark difference to the one three pointer for Bima Sakti.

Facing a tough zone defense from Bima Sakti, IM called on its top marksmen, who were able to fill it up for 20 points from the outside. Despite the three-point barrage, Bima Sakti found itself holding a 28-22 lead late in the first quarter. But IM continued to fire away, tying the game at 30-30 and then finishing the quarter with a 38-34 lead.

In the third quarter, both teams played up-tempo basketball, racing up and down the court in a veritable track meet. But IM got the better of Bima Sakti, and ended the quarter with a 59-51 edge.

The third quarter appeared to take a toll on the Bima Sakti players, who lacked energy in the final quarter. This opened the door for an intensified offensive outburst by IM, who scored 33 points in the quarter to secure their 92-73 victory.

"It has become the habit of my players to start slow while they look for their best form. It helps the opponent take an early lead," IM assistant coach Pria Utama Tobing said during a post-match news conference.

"Since Bima Sakti was playing tough defensively, we put in our players who can drive and shoot. And luckily most of them were able to make three pointers."

Bima Sakti coach Gan Hwie Liong disclosed that his team was having internal problems.

"Most of our players will leave the club because they are about to finish their studies. They are now thinking about their futures, so their loyalty to the club is not what it was," he said.

"Besides, the other teams (in the league) have shown tremendous progress. We are ready to face relegation this season."

The two late matches on Thursday saw Angsapura Sania of Medan playing Wismilak Cahaya Lestari Surabaya, and Satria Muda facing off against Panasia Indosyntec.

The league's fourth series will take place in Bandung. (nvn)