FIBA World Cup

China, Jordan, Iran also slip to 0-2 as Japan remains lone Asian team with FIBA World Cup win

Delfin Dioquino

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China, Jordan, Iran also slip to 0-2 as Japan remains lone Asian team with FIBA World Cup win

SIGN. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in action for Jordan against New Zealand in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


China, Jordan, and Iran drop their respective group stage matches on August 28 and fall to 0-2 like Gilas Pilipinas and Lebanon

MANILA, Philippines – Wins continue to elude majority of the Asian teams in the FIBA World Cup.

China, Jordan, and Iran all dropped their group stage matches on Monday, August 28, and fell to 0-2 like Gilas Pilipinas and Lebanon as Japan remained the only Asian squad with a victory, taking the lead in the Olympic race.

Every win counts, with the highest-placed Asian squad directly qualifying for the Paris Games in 2024.

Jordan came close to joining Japan when it gave New Zealand a run for its money behind a stellar performance from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson before it succumbed in overtime, 95-87, in Group C at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The former NBA veteran put the Falcons on his back with a tournament-best 39 points on top of 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, coming up clutch as he completed a four-point play that forced an extra period.

New Zealand, though, held its nerve and limited Hollis-Jefferson to just a single point in overtime to keep Jordan winless.

Iran also nearly broke through in Group G but eventually absorbed a heartbreaking 71-69 loss to Ivory Coast in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Behnam Yakhchali put up 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists to show the way for Team Melli, who led 69-68 with under 15 seconds left before Ivory Coast stole the win thanks to three go-ahead free throws by Solo Diabate.

China, on the other hand, got blown out again after an 89-69 dismantling at the hands of South Sudan in Group B at the Araneta Coliseum despite a bounce-back outing from NBA player Kyle Anderson.

Held scoreless in his World Cup debut, the Minnesota Timberwolves forward delivered 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, but Team Dragon fell apart in the second half as they lost by a combined 62 points.

It is only bound to get tougher for all six Asian teams.

Still in contention for the second round, the Philippines battles world No. 10 Italy and Japan faces No. 3 Australia, while also-ran Lebanon tangles with No. 6 France on Tuesday, August 29.

On Wednesday, August 30, Jordan clashes with title favorite USA, China goes up against Puerto Rico, and Iran locks horns with defending champion Spain.

Four teams have qualified for the second round so far: Canada and Latvia of Group G and Lithuania and Montenegro of Group D.

Meanwhile, joining Lebanon as early classification phase entrants are France, Egypt, and Mexico. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.