With domination of its domestic league well in its grasp, Satria Muda took the next step toward being a regional power when it announced its 12-man roster for the Asean Basketball League.
The five-time Indonesian Basketball League champion will carry nine Indonesian players and three imports into the inaugural ABL, which begins Oct. 10 with a home game against the Philippines Patriots at Jakarta’s Britama Arena.
Satria Muda head coach Fictor Roring demanded his players take a positive approach to the competition.
“Have you read the giant banner in our home ground? It’s written ‘Indonesian champion, Indonesia is the champion.’ The club was established with a winning vision, and we want to bring it to fruition,” Fictor said on Wednesday. “I know it will be hard because the Philippines are considered the best team in the region, but I will not say it is impossible to beat the Philippines.”
In addition to re-signing former player Alex Hartman, Satria Muda added 6-foot 10-inch (2.08- meter) American center Theo Little and Filipino point guard Rensy Bajar. The new additions will join the team later this month.
Fictor said he was confident the foreigners would be able to integrate themselves into the team.
“They are professional players who have experience playing in many countries, so I’m certain they will blend with the boys easily,” he said. “We picked Little as we need a big man and he has an impressive background, while Hartman and Bajar are not strangers to us.”
Little played college basketball in the United States for Arkansas State University from 2003 to 2007 before being drafted by NBA D-League team Anaheim Arsenal in 2008. He played for Saudi Arabian club Al Safa last season, averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds per game.
Bajar has experience with Indonesian basketball, having played for Bhinneka Solo during the 2005 IBL Tournament, during which he was named the Most Valuable Player.
Point guard Faisal Ahmad said the local players were also up for the challenge.
“It’s a good opportunity for us, and I will motivate myself to get higher achievements,” he said. “I want to prove that Indonesia can do better than other countries.”
After opening against the Patriots, Satria Muda will play the Thailand Tigers in Bangkok on Oct. 17 before hosting the Kuala Lumpur Dragons on Oct. 25.
Satria Muda ABL Roster
4. Rensy Bajar, PG; 5. Faisal J. Ahmad, PG; 6. Wendha Wijaya, PG; 7. Amin Prihantono, SF; 8. Alex Hartman, SG; 9. Youbel Sondakh, SF; 10. Theo Little, C; 11. Galank Gunawan, PF; 12. Bonanza Siregar, SF; 13. Rony Gunawan, C; 14. Welyanson Situmorang, PF; 15. Christian Ronaldo Sitepu, SF ABL