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Japan wins FIBA Women’s Asia Cup title in Amman

Australia edges South Korea for 3rd place

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 03,2021 - Last updated at Oct 03,2021

Japan’s point guard Mai Yamamoto (right) is guarded by China’s guard Wang Siyu during their 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup final match against China in Amman on Sunday (AFP photo by Khalil Mazraawi)

AMMAN — The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 (Division A) — ended in the capital on Sunday, with the top four teams qualifying to the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia.

Reigning titleholders Japan beat China 78-73 in the final of the 29th edition of the tournament. Australia beat South Korea 88-58  in the battle for third place.

In the semis, Japan, which had a superior defence, edged Australia 76-65 as the latter was close to scoring an upset, while China, which last won the title in 2011, upset record winners South Korea 93-69. New Zealand took 5th place after beating Chinese Taipei 74-59. The Philippines secured 7th spot after narrowly overcoming India 74-70. The latter was relegated to Division B of the 2023 FIBA Asia Cup after putting up a big fight for their spot in Division A.

A major tournament with leading teams from the continent participating, the tournament did not witness much fan attendance, with many of the early matches held during working hours for Jordanians. It marked the first time the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup 2021 Division A is held in an Arab country. Amman will also host Division B matches in November.

Asian basketball teams are classified to two divisions: The same eight teams from the last Division A edition qualified to this years’ tournament, listed by their final position. Division B was not held in 2019, the therefore the last finishing Division A 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. Holders Japan advanced to the semifinals from Group A after three consecutive wins: 136-46 over India 62-50 over New Zealand and 67-62 over record winners South Korea. South Korea beat Chinese Taipei 80-74 to advance to the semifinal against China.

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. Australia beat neighbours New Zealand 72-61 and advanced to play to the semifinal against Japan.

The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup is an international basketball tournament which takes place every two years for 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 is 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 & 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 FIBA Asia U-18 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 after an unbeaten streak in qualifiers. The FIBA Asia Cup 2021 will be played in Jakarta, Indonesia in July 2022, right after the window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asia qualifiers. 

Jordan’s best showing at the FIBA Asia Cup (previously named 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 then played the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, but lost to Puerto Rico and Greece and was 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 alongside the junior men’s team in 1995.

 

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