Jordan nips Japan, seals last quarterfinals berth in FIBA AsiaBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Jordan booted out Japan, 65-56, and booked its fifth straight quarterfinals appearance on Wednesday in the 27th Fiba Asia men’s championships at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jordan, which led by as many as 18 points, withstood a final rally by Japan, which pulled to within six in the last minute of the match.
“It was a tough game for both teams. We had to keep our concentration. But finally we won,” said head coach Evangelos Alexandris through an interpreter.
Naturalized cager Jimmy Baxter paced Jordan with 16 points, along with six rebounds and three steals while Mohammad Hussein added 15 markers.
Naoto Tsuji was the lone scorer in double digits with 14 on 4-of-10 three point shooting for Japan, a nation that was once a contender in Asian basketball.
The 2011 finalists Jordan, which secured fourth in group E, meanwhile, set up a meeting with Iran in the knockout quarterfinals.