For the last three years, Bali high school teams have won the ALSA UI English Competition, the most prestigious school-based debate tournament in Indonesia, and the streak can continue in 2014. SMA 4 Denpasar, the 2011-2012 champions, and SMA 1 Denpasar, last year's winner, are among the 4 last standing teams. In the semifinals tomorrow, the former will go against SMA Kristen 1 Penabur Bandung while the latter will meet dark horse SMA 17 Makassar, which eliminated the best performing team in the preliminaries, SMA Modal Bangsa from Aceh. If the rival Denpasar teams could defeat their opponents, they would recreate an all-Bali final.
Another scenario is having no team from Bali in the final. The semifinalists from Makassar and Bandung are no pushovers. Furthermore, the Penabur debaters are coached by Revian Wirabuana, a member of the SMA 4 Denpasar team that won in 2011 who is now studying in Bandung. The other possibilities, of course, involve one Bali team in the last debate and the likelihood of that is also big. Regardless of the outcome, the semifinals tomorrow offer the tight competition that any debate tournament strives for.