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Petrochimi, Al-Riyadi advance to FIBA Asia Champions Cup

AMMAN (2016 WABA Champions Cup) - Petrochimi of Iran and Lebanese outfit Al-Riyadi Beirut have clinched places in the 2016 FIBA Asia Champions Cup, which is to be held in October.

Both teams punched their tickets for the event by reaching the Final of the 2016 WABA Champions Cup that was just held in Jordan. Petrochimi prevailed over Al-Riyadi in a 70-68 thriller on Monday to capture the title.

The other sides that had visions of serving as West Asia's representatives but came up short at the WABA Champions Cup were Iran's Azad, Lebanon's Champville, Iraq's Al Shurta and Jordan's Orthodox Cup. Azad defeated Champville in the Third-Place Game.

Petrochimi excelled thanks to the steady hand of floor general Edgar Sosa, the team's Dominican Republic international. Sosa had 17 points and 5 assists in the WABA Champions Cup Final. He had poured in 29 points in the team's previous game, a win over Champville.

Al-Riyadi didn't win the WABA Champions Cup but they are likely to view their performance as a successful once because star player Jean Abdel Nour was injured at the start of the Championship and Wael Arakji suffered an anke injury at the beginning of the game against Petrochimi. Both Abdel Nour and Arakji are Lebanon internationals who featured at last year's FIBA Asia Championship in China.

Fadi el Khatib played for Al-Riyadi after his recent return to the team from playing professionally in China, but Ismael Ahmad did not travel with the team.

The remainder of the field for the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, which is to be staged 7-16 October, will be filled out in the coming months when qualifying tournaments are held. There will be two clubs from East Asia, two from the Gulf, one from Southeast Asia, one from South Asia and one Central Asia.

Another team will be added once the host nation of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup is announced.

Iranian clubs have had most of the success in recent times at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, with Saba Battery Tehran winning in 2007 and 2008, Mahram Tehran in 2009 and 2010 and Foolad Mahan Isfahan in 2013.

The other country that has captured plenty of titles dating back to 1999 has been Lebanon. Sagesse lifted the Champions Cup that year, in 2000 and 2004. In 2011, Al-Riyadh Beirut won.