MANILA, Philippines -- Indonesia will be without its ace player in the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers, which will take place in a bubble in Clark, Pampanga.
Rajko Toroman, head coach of Indonesia, confirmed Saturday that swingman Brandon Jawato will miss the qualifiers in June due to injury.
"We have one big problem," Toroman said in an appearance on "Power and Play" with former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala. "Brandon Jawato… had surgery one month ago."
"For sure, he will not play in the windows," he added.
Jawato made his debut for Indonesia in the November 2020 window in Bahrain, where he put up 22 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and a steal in a 90-76 rout of Thailand.
Indonesia has already qualified to the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 as hosts, but they will still play three games in the qualifiers in Clark. They are scheduled to play South Korea on June 17, the Philippines on June 18, and Thailand on June 20.
With Jawato on the sidelines, Toroman admitted that their expectations for the upcoming window "are not so big."
"Our best player, Brandon Jawato is injured, which has hurt us a lot. Our expectation is not to lose more than 14 points against Thailand at this moment," he added.
"I don't think at this moment, without Brandon, we can touch Philippines and Korea," Toroman admitted. "We'll try our best, we will do a lot of effort."
While they don't expect to beat either South Korea or the Philippines without the 27-year-old Jawato, Toroman said they hope to at least remain competitive.
"For me, it's not about to win or to lose against Philippines and Korea. The point is to improve, to be more and more competitive," he said.
Indonesia will feature naturalized player Lester Prosper in the qualifiers, as well as veterans Abraham Grahita and Arki Wisnu.
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