JAKARTA, Indonesia (22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Seventeen years is a long wait for Indonesia to make a comeback into the FIBA Asia U18 Championship fray, but coach Nath Canson is keen make amends for that with a “steady performance” at the 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship starting in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) next Friday.
Indonesia have been drawn alongside hosts Mongolia, GCC’s Bahrain and bronze medalists from the 21st FIBA Asia Championship at Sana’A (Yemen) two years ago Chinese Taipei in Group C of the Preliminary Round competition. Click here for complete draw details.
Canson spoke to this website during Indonesia’s final preparations.
FIBA Asia: It’s been 17 years since Indonesia took part in the U18 Championship. Your comments.
Canson: It was a nice feeling for the whole team having this kind of experience. I never had an inkling that Indonesia hadn’t played in the FIBA Asia U18 Championship for this long.
FIBA Asia: What is your target in Mongolia?
Canson: The team’s target is to get into a better position than in 1995 where they got 5th position.
FIBA Asia: What do you think of the draw?
Canson: We got a little bit lucky on the draw in the first round. But that doesn’t mean it’s a walk on the cake. Every game will be difficult for us.
FIBA Asia: Can you pick out some players who are crucial in your scheme of things?
Canson: My 12 players are all important to me. All of them will have very crucial jobs to do.
FIBA Asia: What are the strengths of the team? How do you plan to build on it?
Canson: The strengths of the team are outside shooting and penetrations. The coaching staff is working hard to develop these with a lot of half court scrimmages.
FIBA Asia: What are the weaknesses? How do you plan to overcome them?
Canson: Right now the coaching staff is working hard in our side picks. We are spending a lot of time on these by having 3 on 3 with the emphasis on picks and boxing-out.
FIBA Asia: Compare your team with the team from your home country Philippines?
Canson: Comparing my team to the team Philippines is quite too far out. Because Philippines begin to train their team much earlier. The experiences that they get from these are such that they’re always ahead of us in all departments. By all departments, I mean through rebounding, shooting, passing and dribbling. Especially in executing set plays and finding options.
FIBA Asia: What do you think of the Philippines team (to whom Indonesia finished second in the SEABA U18 Championship)?
Canson: The Philippines have been always one of the favorites in Asia. It is because they start playing the sport at an earlier age. It is considered our national sport. Every young Filipino loves to play basketball. If you become good, it will definitely change your lifestyle.
FIBA Asia: Any other comments?
Canson: Yes, the Indonesian national team U-18 is a great team selection. It has all the ingredients that a coach needed to make this team a lot better than now. Given by a 100% support from Perbasi and the best preparations that the team needs, this team will definitely go far.
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia