Harapan Bangsa Arrows: A Paragon of True Champion’s Attitude
Having won the West Java Conference as the champion and booked a series of victories over UDINUS, UNPRI, and UNPAR in the National phase, Harapan Bangsa Arrows, two-time national runner-up and two-time national basketball champion, advanced to the semifinal round in the Liga Mahasiswa (Intervarsity Basketball League) at the end of February 2016. The remarkable winning streak is an irrefutable proof of the unyielding consistency of the squad. This was the sixth time for Harapan Bangsa Arrows making their way to the national big four.
Two consecutive years’ defeat in the final round was the Arrows’ only motivation. However, after a daunting semifinal match, the Arrows had to admit their opponents’ dominance. Both the players and the coach were stunned for a while after the unexpected defeat. Yet, their spirit was restored when they faced UAJY in the last match to win the third place of the 4th Liga Mahasiswa (LIMA).
The crowded C-Tra Arena Hall became a silent witness of how the Arrows, cheered on by their fanatic supporters, were ardently determined to finish this year’s league tournament with a spirit of sportsmanship regardless of the result. During the entire match, Sunday 21 February 2006 afternoon, the Arrows displayed a true champion’s attitude.
Coached by Ricky Gunawan, the team was unexpectedly left behind by 22 points in the first quarter. Yet, the Arrows did not get their reputation as one of the best teams in Indonesia for nothing, for in the next quarter they managed to make excellent rebound after swaying in the beginning of the quarter. Their Spartan efforts were paid off when, as if to proof that nothing was impossible, they equalized the score (57-57) at the last quarter, making everyone in the stadium astonished. Catching up after being left so far behind is a very rare occasion in any national tournament.
To the spectators’ amazement, Jan Misael played confidently, leading the team to steal, dribble, pass, and shoot the ball into the opponent team’s hoop, scoring point after point until they were able to even up the match. An equally untiring fighting spirit was also displayed by the supporters, who, according to Coach Ricky, cheered the Arrows elegantly until the end of the match.
When the final whistle was blown, the Arrows had to accept the fourth position, the best national achievement the team was able to accomplish this year. The Arrows’ players admitted that the opponent team played very well.
Despite the defeat, Harapan Bangsa Arrows’ champion’s character continues to live on. Congratulations, Harapan Bangsa Arrows. You are all still our real heroes.