JORDAN claimed the last spot in the quarterfinals in the Fiba-Asia Championship with a 65-56 victory over Japan on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 2011 runners-up in Wuhan got 16 points from naturalized cager Jimmy Baxter as the new-look Jordanian squad clinched the fourth-seed in Group E and set up a match with unbeaten Group F leader Iran in the final eight.
Mohammad Shaher Hussein had 15 points and 19 rebounds for Jordan, which entered the tournament without former stars Sam Daghlas, Zaid Abbas, and naturalized player Rasheim Wright.
Team captain Wesam Al-Sous looks forward to a new beginning for Jordan after struggling in the first two rounds of the competition.
“I guess what happened before is (behind us) now,” said Al-Sous, one of only four holdovers from the 2011 team that placed runner-up to China two years ago. “This is basketball. If we stay together, we can win.”
It was a disappointing finish for Japan, which scored its lone win against Hong Kong in the preliminaries and went winless in the second round.
Japan also failed to duplicate its quarterfinal finish in the 2011 Asian championships after finishing second to Iran in the Fiba-Asia Cup last year.