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National team finishes 5th in FIBA Asia Cup

By Aline Bannayan - Jul 20,2014 - Last updated at Jul 20,2014

AMMAN — Jordan’s national basketball team finished fifth at the 5th FIBA Asia Cup that ended in Wuhan, China.

Jordan beat Japan 79-72 after trailing 40-35 at halftime. Jordan lost to Taiwan 85-63, beat Singapore 70-53, lost to the Philippines 71-70. In Round 2, the them lost to Iran 75-60 and eventually settled to play from 5-8th spots. They beat India 69-65 and played Japan for fifth place. India finished in 7th spot.

The Philippines took third place after beating China 80-79 while Iran retained its title after beating Taiwan
89-79 in the final match. 

The winner of this tournament automatically qualifies for the FIBA Asia Championship in 2015 that qualifies three teams to the World Championship. 

Jordan moved to the 5th FIBA Asia Cup after it won the title of the West Asian Basketball Association (WABA) Championship in Amman for the second time in the absence of both the Lebanese and senior Iranian teams, that dominated the event in the past few years. 

Coach Murad Barakat acknowledged the absence of two top teams helped the squad’s results, while also noting that technical director Serbian Rajko Truman was new to the squad and many players did not have ample time to prepare with the line-up.

The team later played at the Alexandria Championship before heading to the Asia Cup that had 10 teams playing. Hosts  China, as well defending FIBA Asia Championship titleholders Iran automatically qualified to the event held every two years and previously known as the Stankovich Cup. Qatar was champs in 2004, Jordan in 2008, Lebanon in 2010 and Iran in 2012.

Jordan reached the World Championship once in 2010, after it beat Lebanon in the third place match at the 25th FIBA Asia Championship.

Jordan had previously won the West Asia title in 2002 and qualified to the FIBA Asia Championship. In the 2011 qualifiers, Jordan finished second behind Iran and qualified to the 26th FIBA Asia Championship where, for the first time in the country’s history, it reached the finals but lost the chance to qualify to the 2012 Olympic Games. Jordan then played at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) for Men but lost to Puerto Rico and Greece and was eliminated. The OQT gave Asia’s second and third teams a chance to qualify to the London Games basketball event. In the past two seasons, Jordan had finished third at WABA Championship.

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