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Jordan clinch third-place with convincing win over Iraq
Jordan led by a dozen points after the first quarter and never really got threatened for the rest of the game. Coach Sam Daghlas’s wards increased their advantage, 48-29, at the half and proceeded to cruise to their sixth win in eight games. Dar Tucker led three Jordanians in double-digit scoring along with Mohammad Shaher Hussein and Amin Abu Hawwas.
Turning Point: Iraq cut their deficit to just 10 points late in the third period to present a semblance of a threat, but Jordan hit some big shots to put some significant separation again as they entered the fourth quarter. Jordan then scored the first five points of the final frame to restore a 19-point lead, and that was all she wrote for this match.
Stats Don't Lie: Iraq just didn’t shoot the basketball well in this game. Coach Srdjan Antic’s wards made only 33.3% of their total attempts from the field, and this paled in comparison to Jordan’s 54.7% success rate. Reliables like Dhulfiqar Al-Hchaimi, Ali Ismael and Kevin Galloway combined to shoot a paltry12-of-41 from the floor. Playmaking was also an issue for Iraq as they had just 9 assists as a team. Jordan, meanwhile, handed out 15 assists by game’s end.
Game Heroes: The inside-outside combo of Dar Tucker and Mohammad Shaher Hussein worked wonders for coach Daghlas. Tucker ended up with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist to close out his first FIBA Asia tournament, while Hussein added 15 points on 5-of-10 field goal accuracy. Both are expected to play major roles for Al Nashama in the near future.
The Bottom Line: Jordan didn’t make much noise last year in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha-Hunan, but this third-place finish should remind everyone of just how dangerous Jordan can be if they are motivated and complete. As for Iraq, they have nothing to be ashamed of despite this loss. It was the first time in a very long time to see them compete at this level and to be among the top four teams is already a momentous achievement.