Jordan keep Tall Blacks winless in Amman with important victory
AMMAN (Jordan) - The Jordan Falcons rebound for a strong performance at home to beat New Zealand and strengthen their case towards FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 qualification.
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The 92-75 win for Jordan makes it the first time the Tall Blacks have lost two consecutive games in any World Cup Qualifiers, while also keeping them winless when playing in Jordan.
"I could say it’s payback. I think in the interview in New Zealand, I said 'we gonna come back'. ... and we did that."
Both squads came out on fire, shooting over 50 percent on both ends with Jordan scorching hot at 58.8 percent. That gave Jordan the advantage in the opening interval and also signaled that this would be a different team than that had just lost to the Philippines in this very same Area 3 days ago.
Even after New Zealand opening up the quarter with a 7-0 run, Jordan kept their composure and continued to played their game, much to the pleasure of the fans in attendance.
The game remained close, up until an explosive run powered by Freddy Ibrahim’s playmaking surged a 14-4 run to close out the third quarter and keep Jordan in the lead for good.
This was the perfect storm as it was arguably the best games for every major contributor on the Jordan squad form Dar Tucker, Ahmad Al Dwairi, Sami Bzai, Freddy Ibrahim, and Ahmad Alhamarsheh. Each of the players either logged their best EFF of this Asian Qualifiers campaign or were very, very close to doing so.
The Tall Blacks had a promising performance from young Hyrum Harris who had 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists as they continue to prepare for the World Cup next year.
Jordan, who are now 4-4 in the standings of Group E, have a big advantage over Saudi Arabia who dropped to 2-6 at the same time today.
Turning point: Ibrahim was dropping dimes all game and tied the World Cup 2023 Qualifiers-high of 14 assists in this one.
The particular pinpoint inbounds pass at the 4:07 mark of the third quarter to Ahmad Al Dwairi for a thunderous slam didn’t give the lead to Jordan for good at that time, but it surely was the spark that ignited Jordan’s 12-0 run that immediately followed.
Game Hero: You have Dar Tucker who scored 31 points on 11-18 shooting with 6 three-pointers and 8 rebounds. But you also have Ahmad Aldwairi who had 22 points on 8-12 shooting with 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. Not to mention the aforementioned Ibrahim (9 points, 14 assists) and Sami Bzai (17 points, 5 three-pointers, 7 assists).
Stats don’t lie: Jordan made 33 field goals and had 30 assists in this game. When a team is moving the ball around as well as Jordan did in this game, they will be tough to beat.
"I want to congratulate Jordanians for this win. The fans, the players, everybody who is a basketball fan in Jordan. I think this is a big win against a really big team." - Wesam Al-Sous, Jordan head coach
"I could say it’s payback. I think in the interview in New Zealand, I said 'we gonna come back'. I told the reporters that we coming back and we gonna see them again. and we did that." - Dar Tucker, Jordan