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Jordan takes on Lebanon in Basketball’s World Cup qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Jun 30,2022 - Last updated at Jun 30,2022

AMMAN — Jordan’s national basketball team plays Lebanon on Friday at the start of Window 3 of Asian qualifiers for FIBA’s 2023 World Cup.

The team will have tough away match in Beirut, before they head to Jakarta to face the Indonesian national team on July 4.

In Round 1, national sides play home and away games across three windows. Jordan currently lead Group C after they beat Saudi 68-61 and lost 72-64 in Window 1. In Window 2, Jordan beat Lebanon 74-63 and Indonesia 94-64.

“Injuries have taken their toll, but the latest training camps were aimed at overcoming the gaps, and both matches are vital,” Jordan’s coach Wisam Al Sous, a star of the 2010 World Cup qualifying squad, told the press.

Jordan last beat Lebanon by 11 points ending the Lebanese team’s 19 match winning streak. He again underlined “the match against Lebanon is decisive and Indonesia will be no easy prey”.

Twelve teams will advance to Round 2, which will also have three windows running up to February 2023. The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will take place from August 25 to September 10, 2023 with seven nations from Asia and Oceania qualifying for the 32 country field. As event hosts, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines automatically qualify. Asia was last on the World Cup podium back in 1954 when the Philippines placed third.

Jordan is be powered up by three pros: Zeid Abbas, naturalised pro Dar Tucker, and the towering Ahmad Dweiri, who led Fenerbahce Club to the Turkish League crown this week. 

The squad recently concluded a training camp in Egypt where they played Uganda, Rwanda and Egypt in Cairo after completing a local camp in Irbid, and playing three friendlies against Kuwait and Iraq. 

Jordan previously reached the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2010 and 2019, becoming the first and only Jordanian team to actually reach a World Cup in a team sport alongside the junior men’s team in 1995.

The tournament will serve as a qualifier for the 2024 Summer Olympics, where the top two teams from each of the Americas and Europe, and the top team from each of Africa, Asia and Oceania, will qualify alongside the tournament’s host France.

Earlier this year, Jordan advanced to the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 which will be played in Jakarta, Indonesia July 12-24, after it was rescheduled from last year.

Jordan was drawn in Group A alongside hosts Indonesia, titleholders Australia and Saudi Arabia with the top team in each group moving to the quarters. 

Group B includes China, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Bahrain, Group C includes Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan and Syria while Group D includes New Zealand, the Philippines, Lebanon and India.

Jordan’s best showing at the FIBA Asia Cup (previously called FIBA Asia Championship) was third in 2009 and runner-up in 2011 when they reached the final for the first time in the country’s history, but lost the chance of qualifying to the 2012 Olympic Games after losing the final 70-69 to China. Jordan then played the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) but lost to Puerto Rico and Greece and were eliminated.


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