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Orthodoxi regain Jordan Basketball League title

By Aline Bannayan - Feb 24,2015 - Last updated at Feb 24,2015

AMMAN — Orthodoxi ended the Jordan Premier Basketball League play-offs at Match 4 beating Ittihad 76-65 to win the series 4-2 and regain the title Monday evening.

Orthodoxi led the series 3-2 and needed just one more win to seal the series, while Ittihad needed a win to extend it to a deciding match hoping to win the title for the first time. 

On their way to the title, Orthodoxi beat Ittihad once in Round 2 and twice in the playoffs, 79-69 and 71-69. Ittihad beat Orthodoxi once in Round 2 and had closely contested matches managing to beat them again 82-76 in the previous match to slash their lead 3-2. 

It was Orthodoxi’s record 23rd title. They last won the League title in 2011 ending a 10-year drought when they beat titleholders Applied Science University (ASU). 

This year, Riyadi secured third place after ASU withdrew from the competition which saw a three-way fight for the title between ASU, Orthodoxi and Ittihad. However, ASU withdrew from their match against Orthodoxi in Round 2 in the final minutes of the match with Orthodoxi leading 73-69 after disputing the referee’s call and also gaining a technical foul. Efforts to convince the team to continue the competition failed as they announced they would suspend the team. According to Jordan Basketball Federation (JBF) regulations, the team’s withdrawal would entail fines and relegation to Division 1. The JBF is yet to announce their decision.

At the other end of the standings, Jalil took fifth place and Ghazzet Hashem settled for sixth leaving Nashama and Awdeh to be relegated. Nashama will now be back in the league if ASU are relegated.

ASU had won the season’s first basketball competition when they beat Ittihad for the Jordan Cup title. 

Last season, ASU beat Ittihad to win the League for the second consecutive and fourth time in their record, while Riyadi won third place after beating Kulieh. Orthodoxi finished fifth.

The Jordan Premier Basketball League which started in 1952 has had 58 editions with eight teams crowned champions. It was cancelled in three seasons and discontinued once. Orthodoxi have won 23 times, Ahli 21, Zain-Fastlink six times, ASU four times, Jazira-Aramex twice, Urdun, Watany and the Electricity Co. once each.

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