MANILA, Philippines – Indonesia will not have the services of Lester Prosper when it plays Gilas Pilipinas in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers on Sunday in Jakarta.
Prosper, a former import for Columbian Dyip, was not included in Indonesia's 12-man roster submitted to FIBA ahead of the game.
According to reports from Indonesia, Prosper's naturalization process was not finished in time for the game. Neither was the naturalization of Brandon Jawato, another candidate.
Danny Kosasih, the president of the Indonesian Basketball Association (PERBASI), was quoted as saying that they "will use a squad of all Indonesians."
Indonesia also played without Prosper during the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila last December, and lost to Gilas Pilipinas, 97-70, in the semifinals. But interim coach Mark Dickel had expected Prosper to be available for Sunday's game.
"We're assuming they will (have Porsper) just because they've had enough time now, and they weren't able to do that at the SEA Games, and the word was they didn't have enough time," Dickel told reporters on Wednesday night.
"Expectation is they'll possibly play, so we're approaching it like that," he added.
With or without a naturalized player, Indonesia figures to be a tough opponent. Leading the team are veterans Arki Wisnu, Kevin Sitorus, and Abraham Grahita. They also have a pair of 6-foot-8 centers in Vincent Kosasih and 16-year-old Derrick Xzavierro.
Dickel expects them to be "really disciplined" after having been coached by Serbian mentor Rajko Toroman for some time now.
"Especially playing on their home court, I anticipate the game being really difficult. So we've gotta go over there and play a good game. They're not gonna give it to us," he said.
The Philippines will be led by seven PBA players, including team captain Kiefer Ravena and FIBA World Cup veterans Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy. Amateur standouts Thirdy Ravena, Matt Nieto, Isaac Go and Juan Gomez de Liano also made the cut.
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