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Syria vs Saudi Arabia: Break the Deadlock
AMMAN (Jordan) - Ready or not, the remaining games of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifier are here! The action starts with a banger of a matchup between Syria and Saudi Arabia in Group E.
We honestly hope you are ready.
Syria vs Saudi Arabia
When: 13:00 PM (GMT +3) on June 12, 2021
Where: Prince Hamza Hall (Amman, Jordan)
It doesn’t get any closer than this, does it?
Syria and Saudi Arabia are separated by only one spot in the FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike. They both have a 2-2 record and are both in contention for a qualification spot to Asia Cup 2021. Eerily enough, that have almost scored the exact amount of points so far in the Qualifiers as well with Saudi Arabia scoring 275 to Syria’s 272.
The first time these two teams played against each other on February 23, 2020, it turned out that 40 minutes wasn’t enough to determine the winner. However, following an overtime session that was highlighted by clutch shooting from Rami Merjaneh, Syria was able to secure a much needed win.
It shouldn’t be too much for the fans to hope for another entertaining game between these two teams, right?
Clash of the Titans
Both teams are well-balanced throughout the roster, but there’s one particular player matchup that stands out. Get ready for a joust of the giants between the seven-footers, Mohammed Alsuwailem (KSA) and Abdulwahab Alhamwi (SRI).
The 23-year-old Alsuwailem has had the upper-hand statistically so far, both through the Qualifiers as a whole and in their last game against each other. He’s second in the Asia Cup Qualifiers in blocks per game (2.5) and rebound per game (11.5), clearing placing himself as the anchor big man for Saudi Arabia.
However, Alhamwi has had a big impact as the inside presence for Syria himself. He’s slightly behind Alsuwailem in blocks per game at third, providing exactly what the team needs in the paint. Though he doesn’t put up gaudy numbers like Alsuwailem, he makes his presence count. This was evident throughout Syria’s overtime win over Saudi Arabia and the victors are certainly looking to utilize Alhamwi’s game to replicate the results.
Player to Watch - Doug Herring (SYR)
Syria has made some slight adjustments once again for this final stretch, as they did in the previous window. Back in November, adding Trey Kell into their rotation was certainly a key part of the upset they claimed against Iran.
This time, they are adding Doug Herring, a proven all-around defensive-minded guard. Herring has had experience playing in Asia but this will be the first time fans will to see him in this type of setting.
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Syria currently hold the tie-breaker by virtue of their overtime win in Round 1 of this bout, which is why they are currently sitting at second place in Group E. This means that the stakes are going to be sky high for both teams with such a close race going on to the finish in this group.
The pressure will be on Saudi Arabia as it might not eventually be enough to just simply beat Syria in this game. They might have to win by a sizable margin to give themselves a better chance at locking up that direct FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualification spot.