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History of Basketball in Indonesia

Basketball has quite a long history in Indonesia. Since 1930, long before Indonesia’s independence, a number of basketball clubs have existed in numerous cities. Even without a national governing body, basketball has already been included in the first-ever National Games, held in Solo in 1948. It was one of the more popular sports, in terms of participant and spectators, during the Games.

Three years later, on 23 October 1951, the Indonesia Basketball Association is born. By 1955, it was officially known as Persatuan Bola Basket Seluruh Indonesia (Perbasi). But Indonesia’s top-level league will not exist until many years later.

At the end of the Perbasi National Convention in 1981, a big decision was made. Perbasi decided to start a national league, involving top-level clubs from Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. The league is called Kompetisi Bola Basket Utama (Kobatama). The first official game of Kobatama was held in 3 April 1982, between Rajawali Jakarta and Semangat Sinar Surya Jogjakarta. Indonesia Muda Jakarta became the first-ever champion of Kobatama.

After 20 years, Kobatama receive a chance to become independent. Indonesian Basketball League (IBL) was born on 2003, showcasing the top ten clubs in Indonesia.
In 2003, Aspac Jakarta became the first-ever IBL champion. In 2004, Satria Muda Jakarta defeated Aspac in the grand final. Aspac became champion again in 2005. After that (2006-2009), Satria Muda dominated the league.

In addition to regular competition, IBL also organized yearly IBL Cup Tournament in the beginning or at the end of the regular season. In 2009, Satria Muda defeated Pelita Jaya Jakarta in the final, held in Bandung. In 2008, Garuda Bandung won the tournament. In 2006 and 2007, Satria Muda also won the tournament.

Unfortunately, IBL’s growth did not go according to plan. After changing promoters numerous times, the league was on the verge of extinction at the end of 2009. To save the league, all ten clubs requested PT DBL Indonesia to take over the league. Previously, DBL Indonesia was known as organizer of Development Basketball League (DBL), Indonesia’s biggest student basketball competition. In 2010, DBL have grown in 21 cities in Indonesia, involving around 25,000 players and coaches.

To return the professional league to its former glory, re-branding strategy is unavoidable. Beginning in 2010, IBL becomes National Basketball League (NBL) Indonesia. Numerous changes were made, to increase the number of games and to try to make the league closer again to its fans. With NBL, Indonesia have a new hope, a new spirit. (*)



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