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China, Japan first to qualify to FIBA Women's Asia Cup semis in Amman

By Aline Bannayan - Sep 30,2021 - Last updated at Sep 30,2021

Australia's point guard Kristy Wallace (right) and New Zealand's shooting guard Brooke Blair vie for the ball during their 2021 FIBA Women's Asia Cup play-off match in Amman on Thursday (AFP photo by Jack Guez)

AMMAN — The FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2021 (Division A) promises interesting semifinals in Amman as the continents top teams duel for their final positions.

The top four teams will qualify to the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Australia.

The 29th edition of the tournament — the first to be held in an Arab country — witnessed interesting matchups, although some matches were decisively won by the leading four sides of eight participating nations.

Asian basketball teams are classified to two divisions: The same eight teams from the last edition of Division A qualified to this years' tournament, listed by their final position. Since no Division B tournament was held in the 2019 edition, the last finishing team was not relegated to this edition's Division B. 

As the event tipped off at Prince Hamza Arena, Division A teams played in two groups of four teams each. Titleholders Japan advanced to the semis from Group A after three consecutive wins: 136-46 over India, 62-50 over New Zealand and 67-62 over record winners South Korea.

China also advanced to the semifinals from Group B after three wins beating the Philippines 143-52, Chinese Taipei 124-50 and Australia 82-64.

To complete the semifinalists, on Thursday, South Korea beat Chinese Taipei 80-74 to advance to play against China, while Australia beat neighbour New Zealand 72-61 and advanced to play Japan. The Philippines won against India 74-70, for 7-8 positions, to secure their spot in Division A. For coming in last, India will be relegated to Division B.

Jordan will host the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 (Division B) in November 2021.

The FIBA Women's Asia Cup is an international basketball tournament that takes place every two years for women's national teams from FIBA Asia region. It was known as the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) Championship until 2001, and the FIBA Asia Women's Championship until 2015. Japan are titleholders and five-time winners, South Korea 12-time winners, China 11-time winners.

Among Arab teams Syria took part in 1986 (finishing 9th), Jordan in 1995 (finishing 11th) and Lebanon in 2001 (finishing 13th).

In addition to the Women’s Asia Cup Divisions A and B, Jordan will again host the FIBA Asia U-18 Championship for Women in 2022, which qualifies the winners to the FIBA U-19 Women's Basketball World Cup. Jordan took part in the championship in 1996 and finished 8th, and hosted the event in 2014 and finished 11th.

In the FIBA Asia U-16 Championship for Women, Jordan played in 2013 and finished 11th.

In men's events, Jordan qualified to the FIBA Asia Cup — the continent's leading basketball tournament after an unbeaten streak in qualifiers hosted in Amman. The FIBA Asia Cup 2021 will be played in Jakarta, Indonesia, in July 2022, right after the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asia qualifiers.

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 next played the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, but lost to Puerto Rico and Greece then eliminated.

On the world scene, Jordan previously reached the FIBA Basketball World Cup — the world's premier basketball competition twice — in 2010 and 2019. The basketball squad was the first and only Jordanian team to actually reach a World Cup in a team sport twice alongside the junior men's team in 1995.

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