Last updated: 24 September, 2011

Jordan reach Asian basketball final

Jordan rallied late in the game to surge past the Philippines 75-61 on Saturday to reach the finals of the Asian Championships, with Rasheim Wright leading the way with 24 points.

They will face hosts and favourites China, or South Korea, who play later Saturday in the other semi.

After knocking out two-time reigning champions Iran in a major upset on Friday, Jordan’s coach Tab Baldwin has got his team playing great half-court offence and a tough, switching defence at just the right time.

“I am really excited for this team to have the wonderful privilege to play in the final of the Asian Championships,” an overjoyed Baldwin said.

“This means a lot for our team, for our country and for our fans. Whatever team stands in front of us tomorrow, we are going to hit them hard.”

Baldwin credited Jordan’s rise to a newfound team chemistry and defensive cohesion that emerged following losses to both the Philippines and China in the preliminary rounds.

That defence forced the Philippines to shoot a poor 31 percent from the field, including three of 23 three-point attempts, while the Jordanians scored 18 points off 16 Filipino turnovers.

“We expected that they would play better than the first game, they are more experienced than us,” Philippine coach Rajko Toroman said of a Jordan team which placed third in the 2009 championship.

“If you are shooting poorly like we did, it is really difficult to win the game.”

The match was close through the first three quarters, but two three-pointers by point guard Sam Daghles and one by Zaid Abbas with under six minutes remaining in the game sealed the win for Jordan.

Daghles ended the night with 16 points, while Abbas contributed 14. Imported American centre Marcus Douthit led the Philippines with 21 points and 15 rebounds.