Meet the Asia Cup 2022 Teams: Jordan
JAKARTA (Indonesia) - There’s no point in denying the fact that Jordan are one of the top teams in Asia Cup basketball. Their track record in the competition speaks volumes already.
The question in each Asia Cup is rather if they are good enough to finally win their first Asia Cup title. Before we find out the answer when the Falcons take flight in Jakarta from July 12-24 in Asia Cup 2022, let’s get to know them just a bit more.
Let’s take a quick moment to meet Jordan in this "Meet the Teams" series!
World Rank according to FIBA World Ranking Presented by Nike: 39
Jordan have been performing quite consistently over the recent years and that is reflected in their standings. They started out at 37 heading into the first Window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers and have dropped down only two spots in the World Ranking since.
However, Japan were able to surpass Jordan in the ranking, meaning Jordan fell to eighth place among teams in Asia. The gap is still pretty tight, however, and maintaining their spot among the Top 10 is solid.
Asia Cup Debut: 1983
Jordan’s first appearance made their Asia Cup debut in Hong Kong in 1983 and they nearly took down the eventual runners-up, Japan, in the Preliminary round.
In the end, however, Japan were able to prevail 79-74, knocking Jordan out of the Preliminary Round.
Asia Cup Appearances (including 2022): 16
Jordan are consistent. After their debut in 1983, the Falcons have played in all but 3 Asia Cups: 1989, 1999, and 2001.
This upcoming Asia Cup will be their ninth straight appearance, tying Iran for the longest active streak of Asia Cup appearances in West Asia.
Most Recent Appearance: 2017
Asia Cup 2017 was a weird year for Jordan. They were playing without Sam Daghlas or Zaid Abbas, two legendary players that had served as their core for the past decade.
Still, there was enough talent in the roster for the Falcons to make it out of the Group Phase. They barely did so after beating Syria by 2 points and India by 7 points, before eventually ending their campaign with a 75-70 loss to the Philippines to end up at eighth.
Best Position in Final Standings: Runners-up (2011)
We’ll let Daghlas, star point guard of the team, tell you why that was such a memorable run for Jordan basketball:
In 2011, we were going into the tournament with another great coach… We're going with coach Tab Baldwin, and he knows his things in the basketball world.
It was an exciting tournament; we were two different teams. First five or four games, we were one team. Then the last four games, we were a different team entirely.
Early on, we were just sluggish, we were out of rhythm, and then something clicked. I think we just got fed up with being average and playing garbage basketball, and we just turned it on against Iran.
Once we beat Iran, I'll tell you what, we knew we were going to win the championship. Until today, I have no idea how we lost. I kind of blame myself to probably have a better game probably would have won because I've always taken responsibility for anything.
Notable Player(s): Sam Daghlas & Zaid Abbas
After making his Asia Cup debut in 2005, Daghlas has played in five Asia Cups as a player. In 40 Asia Cup games, he averaged 10.5 points per game as the team’s floor general which resulted in four straight Quarter-Finals appearances, one third-place finish, and one appearance in the Final.
The accolades already make a strong case for Daghlas and his body of work off the court clinches his mention here. The 1.98M (6’6”) point guard also quickly transitioned into a coaching position after retiring from his playing days, taking over Jordan’s head coach position for Asia Cup 2017.
In mentioning Daghlas as one of Jordan’s legends, it’s impossible to also not mention Zaid Abbas.
Abbas also made his debut in 2005, has also played in five Asia Cups since then, has also averaged 10.5 points per game through his Asia Cup career so far, and also gives it his all every time he plays for Jordan. The similarity ends there, however. While Daghlas is a tactical point guard, Abbas is more of an athletic wiry 2.07M (6’9”) forward.
It should also be mentioned that Abbas is not entirely done with his playing days just yet. The 38-year-old recently came out of retirement and played for the Falcons in Window 2 of the World Cup Qualifiers, which means he might be hopeful for another Asia Cup run.
How they got here:
For most of the part, Jordan’s road back to their ninth straight Asia Cup was smooth sailing.
They won all five of their qualifiers games without much of a struggle aside from an early encounter with Kazakhstan in Astana. Jordan survived a furious rally by the Steppen Wolves to return home with a 3-point win.
Jordan also later edged Palestine by only 3 points in their last game of the Qualifiers, but at that point, they had already clinched Asia Cup qualification.
Current Outlook: Contenders?
Judging from what we recently saw in Window 2 of the World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers, Jordan potentially have the personnel in their talent pool to form one of the best starting fives in the Asia Cup in Freddy Ibrahim, Dar Tucker, Amin Abu Hawwas, Zaid Abbas, and Ahmad Al Dwairi.
Lebanon, who lost to Jordan 74-63, can tell you how scary that team can be at its full potential from first-hand experience. That lineup played a total of 22:04 minutes of that game and was the main reason why Jordan always seemed to have the upper hand.
While it’s not certain if that lineup will be fully utilized at the Asia Cup, it’s seems more than likely that - once again - Jordan will stand tall among the top contenders for this year’s Asia Cup.