Former UE Red Warrior turned Indonesian rep relishes chance for growth in FIBA 3×3 World Cup

Filipino-Indonesian Ebrahim ‘Biboy’ Eugenio admitted that he wasn’t that familiar with the rules of 3×3 basketball when Indonesia’s basketball association contacted him to represent the country in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.

He even bared that he didn’t know who his teammates were a day before they hit the court in Bocaue, Bulacan.

“Nag-a-adjust pa ako kasi hindi ko pa alam ‘yung mga rules sa 3×3. Tapos ‘yung mga teammates ko, kahapon ko lang din nakita. ‘Yung isa doon teammate ko before sa IBL (Indonesian Basketball League),” he said.

(I’m still adjusting because I’m not familiar with 3×3 rules. And my teammates, I just met them yesterday. One of them was a former teammate in the IBL.)

But representing the flag wasn’t an opportunity he would pass up.

The former UE Red Warrior, whose father hailed from Indonesia and whose mother was a Filipina, said that such a world tournament is a great opportunity for his country to shorten the learning curve.

“Magandang experience sa amin kasi kumbaga ‘yung level ng competition dito, sobrang taas talaga kasi World Cup ito eh. So ‘yung impact noon sa amin para sa experience, malaking bagay talaga. ‘Yung kumpyansa namin aangat,” he explained.

(It’s a good experience for us because the level of competition here in the World Cup is high. Its impact on us in terms of experience is huge and our confidence will spike.)

He’s seen enough of the Indonesian brand of basketball to know what needs to be improved. Eugenio is currently playing for the CLS Knights in the Asean Basketball League and has played under current Blackwater Elite head coach Bong Ramos in Aspac Jakarta at the IBL.

“Alam ko paano maglaro ang mga Pinoy eh. Saka ‘yung Indonesia, nasa ilalim pa kami eh. Talagang mas angat sa’min ‘yung mga Pilipino,” Eugenio shared.

(I know how Filipinos play. Indonesia’s still at a lower rung. Filipinos are clearly ahead of us.)

Thankfully, he and a slew of other players with half-nationalities are able to impart their own knowledge of the game.

“Malaking improvement sa Indonesia ‘yung pagdating ng half-American players, tapos ako naman dagdag kasi half-Filipino. Very rare yung breed na ganu’n para sa Indonesia so malaking tulong talaga kasi na-s-share namin ‘yung mga kaalaman namin,” he said.

(The arrival of half-American players is a big improvement for the Indonesian basketball scene. I’m part of that movement too because I’m half-Filipino. It’s rare in Indonesia so it’s a big help because we get to share our knowledge.)

It’s clear that they have a lot of catching up to do. Right now, they stand at 0-2 in Pool B after a couple of blowout losses at the hands of Poland and Estonia.

But his goals – and his country’s – are in win mode.

“Sa (Southeast Asian Games) lagi kaming finals ng Philippines eh. Sana pagdating ng araw na mag-improve pa lalo ang Indonesia, manalo kami ng gold. Lagi kami silver eh,” he said.

(In the Southeast Asian Games, we always meet the Philippines in the finals. I hope when the time comes that Indonesia improves further, we win gold. We always win silver here.)

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