The CLS Knights Indonesia have a long and proud history in the Indonesian Basketball League (IBL), and will look to conquer uncharted territory for them as they left their mother league to join the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) this season.
After winning the 2016 IBL Championship, the Knights were trounced in the semifinals by powerhouse team Satria Muda Pertamina-Jakarta this season. The team were looking to regroup in the offseason for another run before issues between the organization and the league drove them to pull out.
CLS Knights Indonesia filed to leave the Indonesia Basketball League (IBL) after the league imposed a regulation that requires all participating teams to be a Limited Liability Company. The Surabaya-based club team insisted they could not convert to an LLC given that they are a non-profit foundation going back decades and consisting of hundreds of members. After a tug-of-war, the club finalized the departure and found a new home in the ABL.
Being the champions from the 2015-2016 IBL season,
the Knights not only bring their championship DNA to the ABL, but also the same core team that helped them win it all that season. National Team members Mario Wuysang and Sandy Kurniawan, plus locals A.A. Ngurah Wisnu, Febri Utomo, Arif Hidayat, Kaleb Ramot Gemilang, Firman Dwi Nugroho, Moh. Saroni, and Bima Riski Ardiansyah will all be back in the Knights’ fold for the upcoming ABL season.
Reinforcements have arrived.
Although they will be without 2016 IBL Rookie of the Year/MVP Jamarr Johnson, the Knights will get plenty of help from last year’s import and high-flying PBA veteran Duke Crews. Joining Crews in the other world import slot will be his former teammate, University of Tennessee big man and also former ABL Champion with the San Miguel Beermen, Brian Williams.
Freddie is back with a vengeance.
Looking to prove all his doubters wrong, spitfire Thai-American guard Freddie Goldstein (AKA Freddie Lish, Freddie Lee Jones) has returned to rain hell on the opposition as the Knights’ heritage import, after his last appearance in the league was abruptly cut short by Westports Malaysia Dragons mid-season. Mark your calendars.
(Center, World Import)
2017 Dominica Republic League Season Stats
21 Games | 11.8 PPG | 9.8 RPG | 2.6 APG | 51% FG | 0.8 BPG | 0.7 STPG | 1.5 TOPG
(Guard, ASEAN Import)
2016-2017 ABL Season Stats
8 Games | 12.9 PPG | 5.8 RPG | 4.8 APG | 31% FG | 2.1 STPG | 3.6 TOPG
WILLARD “DUKE” CREWS JR.
(Forward, World Import)
2017 IBL Playoffs Stats
6 Games | 22.0 PPG | 16.7 RPG | 2.2 APG | 48% FG | 1.8 BPG | 1.8 STPG | 4.7 TOPG
The 2017-2018 ABL season will be CLS Knights Surabaya’s first year of competition in the league.
2017 SEABA Championships Stats
6 Games | 7.8 PPG | 2.7 RPG | 5.3 APG | 50% FG | 36.7% 3P% | 1.5 STPG | 2.0 TOPG
LOCAL TO WATCH
SANDY FEBIANSYAKH KURNIAWAN
2017 SEABA Championship Stats
6 Games | 11.5 PPG | 3.2 RPG | 1.8 APG | 50% FG | 47.5% 3P% | 1.7 STPG
Head Coach: Koko Heru Setyo Nugroho
Local: #5 Mario Wuysang (176 cm, 76 kg)
Local: #8 Anak Agung Ngurah Wisnu (180 cm, 74 kg)
Local: #9 Sandy Febiansyakh Kurniawan (190 cm, 68 kg)
Local: #10 Rachmad Febri Utomo (180 cm, 84 kg)
Local: #11 Arif Hidayat (177 cm, 71 kg)
Local: #13 Kaleb Ramot Gemilang (184 cm, 92 kg)
Local: #15 Jan Misael Panagan (179 cm, 78 kg)
Local: #16 Firman Dwi Nugroho (202 cm, 102 kg)
Local: #17 Katon Adjie Baskoro (184 cm, 82 kg)
Local: #24 Moh Saroni (199 cm, 102 kg)
Local: #27 Bima Riski Ardiansyah (182 cm, 85 kg)
ASEAN Import: #1 Frederick Lee Jones Lish (178 cm, 73 kg)
World Import: #6 Willard Vincent Crews Jr. (203 cm, 106 kg)
World Import: #33 Brian Michael Williams (208 cm, 125 kg)
Grouped with last season’s semifinalists Tanduay Alab Pilipinas (Philippines) and two-time finalists Singapore Slingers, both of whom they will meet for four games each this season, the Knights will have their hands full in their maiden season.
Aside from former ABL Champion and legend point guard Mario Wuysang, the Knights will be bannered by three league veteran imports and local rising star Sandy Kurniawan, so don’t be surprised if the CLS Knights Indonesia become one of the playoff contenders despite the team being a rookie in the league.