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Jordan preparing hard despite many challenges
AMMAN (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) - Sam Daghles is perhaps Jordan’s most iconic basketball player, having led the country to numerous podium finishes and even a stint in the 2010 FIBA World Cup that was held in Turkey. Nowadays, Daghles is still very much a part of Al Nashama’s national side, but no longer as their top playmaker. Instead, the 1.98m former starting point guard is now calling the shots from the sidelines as Jordan’s head coach and will steer the team in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge.
The bemedalled Daghles certainly wants to push this squad back into the realm of relevance, if not glory, at the continental level. Jordan have not cracked the top five of the FIBA Asia Championship since finishing in second place in 2011, and this is also only their second time back in the FIBA Asia Challenge after winning the whole shebang in 2008. Needles to say, Jordan have a lot of lost ground to recover, and Daghles will be at the helm of their quest for reclamation
Daghles recently talked to FIBA.com.
FIBA.com: How are the preparations going on for the FIBA Asia Challenge?
Daghles: Preparation has been going well, players have been working extremely hard and have been improving. I'm very proud of all their effort. The only downside is we haven't had any games since WABA.
FIBA.com: Jordan won the FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup (now named Asia Challenge) in 2008; do you think that your team is capable of replicating that success in Tehran?
Daghles: I believe we have a good shot at being in the championship game. My team is preparing hard every day, and I think they're starting to understand and adapt to the new style of play I implemented. I’ve always believed as a player and now as a coach that we need to get to the final four then anything can happen from there.
FIBA.com: Jordan’s last competitive game was at the WABA Championship; will your team play any exhibition games before heading to Tehran?
Daghles: I'm hoping we can get some friendly games in Europe. I think our players might be the only ones going to the FIBA Asia Challenge having played in only 18 games total since last October 2015.
FIBA.com: Which teams do you think are favorites to win the FIBA Asia Challenge?
Daghles: You always have to give the home team the advantage, so, of course, Iran will be the favorites along with China, Philippines, Korea and us.