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Jordan Basketball League heats up

By Aline Bannayan - Sep 24,2018 - Last updated at Sep 24,2018

AMMAN — The Jordan Basketball League resumed over the weekend as Orthodoxi beat Jazira 89-85 to take the lead and Ahli upset Kufr Youba 96-73.

The competing teams will strive to reach the final four, following which the winner of the best-of-three finals will decide the champ and final standings.

Round 1 of the competition saw Wihdat take the lead after they beat Jazira 89-82 who settled for third, Orthodoxi beat Ahli 84-83 and came in second, Riyadi, champions for the past two seasons, were inconsistent and ended up fourth, while Ahli who won the Jordan Cup earlier this year came in fifth. Kufr Youba, who upset Riyadi were sixth.

In an effort to revive the sport suffering from administrative snags, low funding, clubs releasing players after pulling out of the competition as well as fan disenchantment, the Jordan Basketball Federation’s temporary board held the Jordan Cup earlier this year and tried to technically support teams getting around 21 clubs competing again. The board even held Jordan’s first player draft and national team stars dispersed to play among the teams and get the flavour back into the competition. Following the Jordan Cup, won by Ahli, the top six headed into the Premier Division, the rest into the First and Second divisions.

In the 2015/16 season, Riyadi were crowned league champs — a title which had eluded them for 20 years — when they beat titleholders Orthodoxi. Riyadi had last won the league in 1997 as the Jazira-Aramex team (which later formed Riyadi’s line-up). Riyadi won the league again in 2016/17.

Applied Science University (ASU), Ittihad and Wihdat have pulled out of the competition over differences with the Jordan Basketball Federation and their players dispersed throughout the league. Orthodoxi, who won their record 23rd league title in the 2014/15 season, won the Jordan Cup in 2016. 

The league started in 1952 and has had 59 editions with eight teams crowned champions. It was cancelled for three seasons and discontinued once. Orthodoxi has won 23 times, Ahli 21, Zain (Fastlink) six times, ASU four times, Riyadi and Jazira-Aramex twice each, while, Urdun, Watany and the Electricity Co. won once each.

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