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Orthodoxi ready for season

By Aline Bannayan - Dec 31,2015 - Last updated at Dec 31,2015

AMMAN — The season’s first basketball competition — the Jordan Cup — gave an early indication of the nature of competition in the basketball season.

Orthodoxi upstaged Riyadi 68-62 in the final minute of the match to win the Jordan Cup late Tuesday evening. It was Orthodoxi’s second Jordan Cup title, while it was the fourth time Riyadi finished runner-up.

Orthodoxi had eliminated Awdeh 56-46 while Riyadi beat Ghazzet Hashem 87-67 on their way to the final. Earlier, the knockout competition saw Riyadi oust Kufr Youba, Orthodoxi beat Hurrieh, Awdeh beat Nashama and Ghazzet Hashem beat Jalil.

The match was close in the first quarter which ended 22-19. However, the second quarter saw Orthodoxi take off with precise shooting and rebounding that left Riyadi trying to follow as Orthodoxi led 37-26 at half-time.

The same continued in the third quarter as Riyadi’s Fadel Najjar and teammate Mousa Awadi tried to carry their team, but individual efforts led to a further lead by Orthodoxi ending the third quarter 57-48.

Riyadi came back from 60-51 to tie the game at 60-60 in the final three minutes, but Orthodoxi’s Mahmoud Abdeen and teammates combined as three pointers ended Riyadi’s streak with turnovers allowing Orthodoxi to win the match 68-62.

Last season, Applied Science University (ASU) beat Ittihad Schools for the Jordan Cup title after they ousted Riyadi and Orthodoxi in the semis. ASU and Ittihad have pulled out of competitions over differences with the Jordan Basketball Federation and players have been dispersed over the rest of clubs, leaving the season’s Jordan Cup finalists as the likely contenders for the league title as well. Coaches Yousef Zaghloul of Orthodoxi and Marwan Matouk of Riyadi, both former Ahli and national team stars lead the young line-ups.

The Jordan Cup has seen Riyadi win in 2002, 2011 and 2012, Fastlink were champs for four consecutive seasons 2003-04-05-06, Orthodoxi in 2007, Zain in 2008, ASU in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

Orthodoxi are reigning Premier Basketball League champs after they beat Ittihad for their record 23rd title last year. The veteran team returned to the forefront of competitions after winning the league in 2011 ending a 10-year drought when they beat titleholders ASU. In 2012 and 2013, ASU dominated beating Ittihad to win the league for two back to back titles and the fourth time in their record.

Observers have pointed out to a regression that negatively affected the basketball scene in the past few years and hope players and fans will return to the courts and help bring the zeal of competition to Jordan’s second most popular sport.

 

The Jordan Cup was a good warm up for teams ahead of the Premier Basketball League as teams scramble to finalise their line-ups with no import players this season. 

 

Jordan Cup Record

Year

Winner

Runner up

2002

Riyadi

Orthodoxi

2003

Fastlink

Arena

2004

Fastlink

Riyadi

2005

Fastlink

Arena

2006

Fastlink

Arena

2007

Orthodoxi

Zain

2008

Zain

Riyadi

2010

ASU

Riyadi

2011

Riyadi

Kufr Youba

2012

Riyadi

ASU

2014

ASU

Ittihad

2015

Orthodoxi

Riyadi 

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