Unlike Gilas and Thailand, Rajko Toroman has had the luxury of preparing Indonesia for the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
And besides getting to train for the last three months, Indonesia has also naturalized Lester Prosper and Brandon Jawato.
Yes, Indonesia was able to allow them to train despite having 422,000 positive cases in the country for the last eight months.
“The situation here is much better than what it was two or a month ago,” Toroman told Tiebreaker Times. “Everything is open but still masks on and social distancing is implemented.
“We were able to start our preparation in Bandung because Jakarta was closed, but we were able to return to Jakarta two weeks ago,” he continued.
“We weren’t able to finish our league. It was supposed to finish last month but it was canceled.”
That is why for Toroman, his squad needs games. The only games the team played was back on February 20 and 23 — a 76-109 loss to South Korea, and a 70-100 loss to Gilas during the first window.
Despite Indonesia and Singapore being awarded the hosting of the continental meet next year, they need more games, the 65-year-old Serbian stressed.
“This tournament won’t mean to us since we are hosting the Asia Cup next year, but we need games.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, FIBA Asia will put up a bubble in Manama, Bahrain from November 27 to 30.
Indonesia takes on Thailand first on the 27th, before facing South Korea again on the 30th.
However, South Korea has already pulled out of the bubble, citing safety concerns as Bahrain has 82,000 cases. Korea, on the other hand, has controlled the spread in its own country.
Despite this, Toroman hopes the tournament pushes through since they have also arranged tune-up games against Bahrain and Lebanon leading up to the tournament.
“I hope that It will push through because we already arranged friendly games with Bahrain and Lebanon in a bubble,” bared Toroman.
“Like I said, these young men need games.”