IO – “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, with this I open the Indonesian Basketball League (IBL) competition,” declared Minister of Youth and Sports, Zainuddin Amali, greeted excitedly by spectators at the Sahabat Sports Stadium in Semarang, during the opening of the 2020 season of the IBL on Friday January 10.
“This competition is the beginning of our preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup which we will (co) host,” said Zainuddin. Indonesia’s national team will participate in the preliminary round under the name “Indonesia Patriots”. Their participation is part of the team’s preparations ahead of the 2021 FIBA Asia Qualifier which will start on February 2020 in Mahaka Square, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. Indonesia’s national team must qualify and excel in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup as part of their requirements to participate in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“The government will also fully support Perbasi (Indonesian Basketball Association) and IBL in advancing basketball in Indonesia,” he asserted.
After officially opening the season, Zainuddin was asked to take a free throw. Unfortunately, he didn’t make any of the three chances he was given.
Zainuddin also made time to watch the game between Satria Muda Pertamina and NSH Jakarta.
The Minister also expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the Semarang and surrounding locals who were very enthusiastic during the games. He expressed a hope that the event would go smoothly.
“The IBL in Semarang this time I think is extraordinary. I was surprised at the crowd. This is a sign that public interest for the development of basketball continues to grow, and they continue to enjoy it. To the organizers, I hope that it can be arranged even better, so that the public can watch quality matches. Thanks to the Semarang City government. To all participating teams: Good luck in the competition and uphold sportsmanship.” (rp)