BOCAUE, Bulacan—Ebrahim "Biboy" Enguio was vacationing in Cavite when he got the call that he was needed by his homeland.
Born to an Indonesian father and a Filipina mother, the now 30-year-old Enguio has been playing for Indonesia ever since he wrapped up his UAAP career with University of the East in 2011. He has suited up for Aspac Jakarta in the Indonesian Basketball League, and is now part of the CLS Knights in the ASEAN Basketball League.
In 2015 and 2017, Enguio was part of the Indonesian national basketball team that lost to the Philippines in the gold medal match of the Southeast Asian Games.
Though his formative basketball years were spent in the Philippines, Enguio takes great pride in playing for Indonesia in the international arena, which was why he barely hesitated when he was asked to play in the FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup on very short notice.
"Nagulat lang ako," said Enguio on Friday, after Indonesia wrapped up its Day 1 schedule with a 22-10 loss to Estonia at the Philippine Arena here. "Tinawag nila ako, two days lang before the 3x3. So gulat na gulat ako."
"Nasa vacation ako dito, nasa Pinas ako," he added. "Kaya ayun, nagulat lang. Walang preparation. Biglaan lang."
Their lack of preparation and height disadvantage was in full display in their first game, when Indonesia was crushed 22-6 by Poland. They were not even supposed to compete in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup, but sent their men's and women's teams to take the place of Ecuador and Venezuela, respectively, as those squads pulled out due to visa issues.
"Nag-a-adjust pa ako," said Enguio, who met up with his teammates at the hotel just a couple of days before the tournament began. "Hindi ko pa alam 'yung mga rules ng 3x3."
Though he has suited up for Indonesia several times already, and is a part of their national team pool, it was clear that Enguio was still trying to find his way in the 3x3 arena.
He was scoreless against Poland before putting up three points in their second game against Estonia.
"Marami pa akong adjustment na dapat gawin para magtuloy-tuloy ako sa 3x3," he acknowledged.
Yet regardless of how their games play out, Enguio knows that their 3x3 experience is a major factor for him and his teammates on the Indonesian team – Erick Gosal, Rivaldo Pangesthio, and Fandi Ramadhani. Indonesia has competed in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup before, and this latest participation can only further their progress.
"Magandang experience sa amin 'yun kasi kumbaga 'yung level ng competition dito, sobrang taas talaga kasi World Cup ito. So 'yung impact noon sa amin, para sa experience, malaking bagay talaga. 'Yung kumpyansa namin, aangat," he said.
Enguio and the rest of Team Indonesia return to action on Sunday against Japan and Slovenia.
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