#FIBAASIACUP2017 PREVIEW - GILAS PILIPINAS vs JORDAN

Images from FIBA.basketball.
The Philippines have lost back-to-back games and are hoping to salvage seventh place, but can they do it against a physical Jordan side?

The Philippines began their campaign with so much promise, bringing down defending champions China before beating Iraq and Qatar in succession. They were seen as leading contenders for a podium finish in the competition, but their blowout loss to Korea in the Quarter-Finals permanently derailed them.  Jordan are on a similar boat, wining their first two assignments before losing two of their last three to fall into this classification encounter.

GILAS PILIPINAS roster
Terrence Romeo - 5'10 - G
Carl Cruz - 6'3 - F
Gabe Norwood - 6'5 - F
Jio Jalalon - 5'8 - G
Jayson Castro - 5'10 - G
Calvin Abueva - 6'2 - F
June Mar Fajardo - 6'10 - C
RR Pogoy - 6'0 - G
Raymond Almazan - 6'7 - C
Japeth Aguilar - 6'10 - F/C
Christian Standhardinger - 6'8 - F/C
Matthew Wright - 6'2 - G
Ave. Height - 6'3
Ave. Age - 28

JORDAN roster
Mahmoud Abdeen - 6'3 - G - 29 - Awdeh BC (former SMB Asian import)
Amin Abu Hawwas - 6'2 - G - 23 - Al Riyadi Aramex
Sami Bzai - 6'1 - G - 23 - Southeastern Oklahoma St. 
Ahmad Al Hamarsheh - 6'6 - F - 30 - Al Riyadi Aramex
Sinan Eid - 6'1 - G - 35 - Aydin BSB
Yousef Abu Wazaneh - 6'7 - F - 23 - Orthodox BC
Mohammad Hussein - 6'10 - C - 27 - Al Fateh
Ahmad Obeid - 6'6 - F - 26 - Al Riyadi Aramex
Malek Kanaan - 5'9 - G - 24 - Awdeh BC
Mousa Al Awadi - 6'2 - G - 32 - Al Riyadi Aramex
Ali Jamal Zaghab - 6'9 - F - 29 - Awdeh BC
Ave. Height - 6'4
Ave. Age - 26

Game Notes:
1) KRAKEN X HUSSEIN
- Guards have buoyed the fortunes of both teams in this tournament, but a key matchup to watch here will be between big men June Mar Fajardo of Gilas Pilipinas and Mohammad Shaher Hussein of Al Nashama. Fajardo is the three-time MVP of the PBA, and he had a solid outing in the Philippines' previous game despite losing badly to Lebanon. Hussein, meanwhile, has been a reliable slotman for Jordan throughout the competition and is a constant double-double threat. They're both around the same size and are exactly the same age, so this should be very interesting.

Fajardo last game: 13pts, 2rebs, 1blk, 4/9 FGs
Hussein last game: 18pts, 8rebs, 6/12 FGs


2) PHI: SHOOTING NEEDS TO CLICK
- Outside shooting will be critical here. Making threes was a key ingredient in Gilas Pilipinas's three wins, and they need to rediscover that here against an aggressive and big Jordan quintet. Jordan, for sure, will need to limit the Filipinos' potency from long distance, and that means finding a way to slow down guys like Terrence Romeo and Matthew Wright. 

PHI 3pt shooting stats: 
1st 3 games - 12.3 triples per game - 3 wins
Last 2 games - 10.0 triples per game - 2 losses


3) PHI: WRIGHT BACK AT IT
- For some strange reason, Gilas has not been going to Matthew Wright a lot in their last 2 games. Wright was their designated spot-up shooter in the first three games, but he has been given very few looks in their losses to KOR and LBN. For Gilas to have a shot at salvaging 7th spot, they need Wright to get his fair share of shots again.

1st 3 games: 7.0 3pt attempts per game, 3.7 triples per game.
Last 2 games: 2.5 3pt attempts per game, 1.0 triple per game.


4) PHI: WHERE'S THAT DEFENSE?
- Even in their wins against CHN, IRQ, and JOR, Gilas's defense has looked suspect at times, but their defensive flaws were really pushed to the fore in their losses to KOR and LBN. Sure, Gilas had the firepower to match any team, but it was their defense that was having trouble keeping up. Needless to say, if they want to avoid a third straight defeat, the D needs to be tight, especially in transition.

Pts given up:
1st 3 games: 76.3ppg
Last 2 games: 112.0ppg

Fastbreak Pts given up:
1st 3 games: 8.0ppg
Last 2 games: 23.0ppg


5) JOR: BACKCOURT BOMBER
- Former SMB Asian import Mahmoud Abdeen has been Jordan's best backcourt player in this tournament. He leads the team in scoring, assists, and three-point shooting, and he will surely figure prominently in today's match. Gilas needs to stop this guy or at least slow him down because so much of Jordan's production is a direct result of his actions. Abdeen is coming off a really bad outing against CHN, though, so he will probably be raring to bounce back big time here.

Stats: 15.0ppg, 2.2rpg, 6.2apg, 2.3 triples per game.
Last game (vs CHN) - 2pts, 1reb, 1ast, 1/8 FGs.


6) JOR: UNSUNG AHMAD
- JOR is full of unsung heroes who don't hog the headlines, and one of them is Ahmad Al Hamarsheh. The 6'6 forward does a lot of damage and makes a lot of plays for JOR, and he will be relied on once again here as the small forward spot has been a weakness for Gilas. If guys like Gabe Norwood and Calvin Abueva cannot bring their A-game, Al Hamarsheh may just have a big game.

Stats: 7.3ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.5apg, 2.2spg, 1.5 triples per game.
Last game (vs CHN) - 5pts, 3rebs, 1ast, 2stls, 1blk, 1 triple.


Jordan Top Players:
Mohammad Shaher Hussein - 12.0ppg, 9.0rpg, 1.7spg, 1.2bpg.
Mahmoud Abdeen - 15.0ppg, 2.2rpg, 6.2apg, 2.3 triples per game.
Ahmad Al Hamarsheh - 7.3ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.5apg, 2.2spg, 1.5 triples per game.
Yousef Abu Wazaneh - 4.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.3spg.
Amin Abu Hawwas - 9.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.5spg, 1.2 triples per game.

Philippines Top Players:
Terrence Romeo - 18.8ppg, 1.2rpg, 3.2apg, 3.2 triples per game.
Matthew Wright - 12.6ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.6apg, 2.6 triples per game.
Jayson Castro - 8.8ppg, 3.4rpg, 5.2apg, 1.2 triples per game.
Gabe Norwood - 5.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.6apg, 1.6spg, 1.4bpg.
RR Pogoy - 8.0ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.2spg, 1.4 triples per game.

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