Triple-doubles, scoring title race and more key numbers to watch in final Asian Qualifiers window
BEIRUT (Lebanon) - We’re now in the final stretch of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers. Two games left. That’s it.
Even though the majority of the qualification spots from the Asian Qualifiers have been filled in, that doesn’t mean the suspense is over. There’s still plenty to keep your eyes on in the upcoming games from 24-27 February.
Here are some cool numbers and key facts to look out for in Window 6!
Consecutive Qualifiers wins
The longest active winning streak in the Asian Qualifiers currently belongs to one of the hottest teams in the region in 2022, Lebanon. They’ll be heading into Window 6 to play against the Philippines exactly one year after their last Qualifiers loss which was to Jordan. In between that are 7 straight quality wins that allowed them to be one of the first teams to qualify for the World Cup through the Asian Qualifiers.
As they are already qualified, there’s not a lot of pressure for the Cedars to win in these upcoming games. But as these games are against the likes of potential World Cup 2023 foes Philippines and New Zealand, Lebanon might not want to give their opponents any sort of edge by simply rolling over here. There’s a possibility that Lebanon heads out of the Asian Qualifiers with 9 straight wins.
Even then, however, the longest win streak in an Asian Qualifiers campaign would still be in the hands of New Zealand who won 10 straight games in the 2019 cycle.
Points scored in the Qualifiers by Mohammad Jamshidi (IRI) and Dar Tucker (JOR), respectively
Aside from the race towards World Cup qualification, the race to become the top scorer of the World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers will be an exciting one to watch as well.
Tucker and Jamshidi were already among two of the top scorers in the 2019 cycle of the Qualifiers and have maintained their forms in this cycle as well. At the moment, they are separated by only one point at the top of the scoring leaders in the Asian Qualifiers with Jamishidi in the lead.
Both players have had their highs (41 points for Jamshidi, 31 points for Tucker) and their lows (2 points for Jamshidi, 6 points for Tucker) so far in these Qualifiers, but in general, they are always revered as the main scoring options for their teams.
That should definitely remain the case in these last two games as both Iran and Jordan have yet to officially clinch World Cup qualification.
Most three-pointers made in a single World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers game
Teams continue to launch more and more three-pointers and the Asia Qualifiers has not been an exception. Australia (vs Japan, 1 July 2022) and Kazakhstan (vs Iran, 27 February 2022) have been the two teams that have made the most so far in a single game during these Qualifiers with 17 in total.
That’s been the case throughout most of the Qualifiers for the Boomers who have averaged 11.2 made three-pointers per game (leads Asian Qualifiers) on 39.5 percent three-point shooting (leads Asian Qualifiers). Meanwhile, Kazakhstan have fell off a bit since their spectacular shooting night against Iran as they average 7.1 made three-pointers per game on 25.4 percent three-point shooting (lowest among teams in Second Round).
In this last window, will any team take this record to the test?
Will Australia, who held the record (21) in the 2019 Asian Qualifiers, be able to beat their own record? Or will it be New Zealand, who recorded 20 and 18 made threes in two separate games during the previous cycle?
Maybe it could be Lebanon, China, or Bahrain, each of whom is shooting at least 30 percent from downtown. It could certainly be possible for Japan to reach this target as well if they continue to attempt 35.6 three-pointers in these last two games.
Triple-doubles recorded in the World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers
Arsalan Kazemi did it first in Iran’s first game of these Qualifiers when he recorded 10 points, 12 assists, and 26 rebounds (World Cup Qualifiers record) against Bahrain on 26 November 2021.
Later in the second Window, Australia’s Nick Kay put up 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists against Chinese Taipei. So far, these are the only two triple-doubles recorded in the 2023 Qualifiers - not only the Asian Qualifiers but all of the Qualifiers including other regions.
This also means that there have already been more triple-doubles recorded in the World Cup 2023 Qualifiers than in the World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. Back in the 2019 cycle, only one triple-double was recorded thanks to Iraq’s Demario Mayfield who put up 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists against Qatar on 2 July 2018.
Is there another triple-double left in store from the stars in the Asian Qualifers?
Remaining World Cup spots to be claimed from the Asian Qualifiers
This is probably the most important number to know in this upcoming window. After many intense games across five windows, there are now only 2 tickets left to the World Cup.
From Group E, will it be Jordan (4-4) or Saudi Arabia (2-6)?
From Group F, will be Iran (6-4) or Kazakhstan (5-5)?
When the dust settles on 27 February, we’ll find out who will be celebrating a trip to the Philippines-Indonesia-Japan and who will have to wait four more years for their next shot at the World Cup stage.