WUHAN, China (26th FIBA Asia Championship): Two years ago, on the eve of the quarterfinals, WABA team Jordan was talk of the town going into their play-off against Philippines. The team with inspired performances not only won that game, but went on to win the nation’s maiden medal in the FIBA Asia Championship.
Come 2011, Jordan start as the underdogs against red hot favorites and twice defending champions Iran in the quarterfinals.
We caught Jordan’s moving force in offense, and more importantly in defense, Zaid Abbas.
On the quarterfinal against Iran
It won’t be easy. The point is according to me Iran haven’t played their best yet. And they are a very capable team.
We are suffering from lack of proper preparation. Most of the players didn’t play regularly as there was no proper Jordanian league. We haven’t had enough time with the coach. And overall, we are not as prepared as we were two years ago.
The advantage is we know each other very well, coming from WABA. All the players on both sides know each other very well.
There won’t be any surprises on either side. Only thing is how well we play in the game and how well we handle the pressure situations.
So you are saying it won’t be easy for Iran.
We’ll come out all guns blazing. The team more or less is the same as it was two years ago, although we are missing Ayman Idais’ height inside and his perimeter shooting.
Sam (Daghlas) is in good form and Rasheim (Wright) too is scoring alright.
But the problem is we are not able to recover from setbacks during the game.
If we are in lead, we go full blast. But the moment our rivals threaten us with something, we go into a shell.
This is what happened in the games against Japan and Philippines. We thought we had the game in control, but before eventually losing it.
We just need one final push of inspiration.