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    Syria eliminates Qatar to book Fiba Asia Cup spot

    Jun 14, 2021
    PHOTO: Fiba.basketball

    DOUG Herring guided Syria to a 67-56 win over Qatar Monday at Prince Hamza Hall in Amman to formally book its spot in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup.

    The new naturalized player orchestrated the Syrians' 9-0 charge to break away from a 54-all deadlock in the final 5:07 to a 63-54 lead with 2:15 left to play.

    It was a memorable first win for Herring, who led the way with a near-triple-double showing with 16 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, and four steals.

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    Rami Merjaneh corralled 14 points, two dimes, and two steals, while Kemal Canbolat got 13 points, eight boards, and two assists in the victory.

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    Syria actually ended up tied for second place in Group E with Saudi Arabia as both nations held identical 3-3 records.

    The Syrians, however, got the tiebreaker based on their head-to-head matchups. Syria won, 75-70 in overtime back in the first window in Feb. 23, 2020 in Jeddah, while Saudi Arabia only won by two points, 79-77 in overtime last Saturday.

    This makes Syria the seventh nation to earn its ticket after hosts Indonesia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, and Kazakhstan.

    Saudi Arabia, nonetheless, will still have a chance to make it through to the continental tilt as it gets one last chance in the second round of the qualifiers between the group third-placers just before the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in August.

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      Abdulrahman Saad carried the fight for the Qataris with 22 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, but had little support from the rest of the team.

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      Qatar ended the qualifiers with a 1-5 card, missing the continental tourney for the first time since 1999 in Fukuoka, Japan.
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      PHOTO: Fiba.basketball
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