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FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers tip off in Amman

By Aline Bannayan - Jun 11,2021 - Last updated at Jun 11,2021


AMMAN — Jordan's national basketball team hosts Asian Basketball Federation Group F qualifiers at Prince Hamzah Hall this week, as qualification resumes to determine the 16 participants in the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup.

Jordan so far beat Sri Lanka 100-45 and Kazakhstan 71-68. They are now set to play Palestine on June 12, Kazakhstan on June 13 before facing Palestine in the return match on June 14. The Sri Lankan team withdrew.

During the same time, Jordan is also hosting Group E qualifiers which include Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. All matches will be held without fans, a fact that greatly affected the ability of local organisers, the Jordan Basketball Federation, in marketing the matches.

Prior to the qualifiers Jordan played Qatar and Saudi Arabia in three friendlies. They lost to Saudi Arabia 89-69 then beat Qatar 69-57 before scoring a 76-74 win over Saudi Arabia in the second match.

Jordan's squad is led by former national team star Marwan Ma'touq. The line-up is missing some of its well-known players, however, the coach underlined confidence in his squad and said it bears the responsibly in wins and losses.

"There is no room for justifications. The team is relatively new and has been away from the competitive scene for over a year. We amended gaps from one friendly to another and I urge fans to stand behind Jordan's new national squad. We are ready," Ma'touq said.

The qualification process for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup (formerly known as FIBA Asia Championship) began after the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, with the 16 teams from FIBA Asia Cup 2017 and best eight teams that played the Pre-Qualifiers during the previous qualification windows.

A total of 24 teams are playing qualification games for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. The 24 teams are divided into six groups of four teams. The top two teams from each of the six groups qualify for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup, making a total of 12 teams. The six 3rd place teams from each group qualify to play in a final qualifying tournament and the top four teams from this tournament will qualify for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup which was moved from August 3-15 to August 16-28 due to the  HYPERLINK "" \o "COVID-19 pandemic" coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, Jordan had its plans turned upside down, when 10 delegation members contracted COVID-19 when they were on a training camp in Manama, Bahrain, just as the Asian Basketball Federation decided to postpone their group qualifiers which were set to tip in February.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FIBA Executive Committee decided in September 2020 that games in each group will be held at a single venue under a  HYPERLINK "" \o "Bio-secure bubble" bubble format which was introduced in many sports during the pandemic to minimise and prevent the risk of COVID-19 contact from outside world. 



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