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Daghlas looking for Jordan to step up at Asia Cup

AMMAN (FIBA Asia Cup 2017) - With Sam Daghlas at the helm, Jordan impressed at last year's FIBA Asia Challenge, and they are hoping to continue their resurgence this year at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017.

Daghlas, of course, is perhaps the most recognizable figure in Jordanian basketball, owing much to his many memorable performances for Al Nashama throughout his colorful career. He was known as a heady and steady point guard in his heyday, and he has successfully transferred those skills to his current position as the national team's head coach.

Osama Mohammad Fathi Daghlas (JOR) - Jordan v Philippines, 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge (IRI), Tehran(Islamic Republic of Iran), Second Round, 14 September 2016
During the previous FIBA Asia Championship in 2015, Jordan didn't do too well. They finished outside of the top 8 for the first time since 2003 and missed out on the top 4 for the second straight edition. This was a far cry from their podium finishes in 2009 and 2011, and it underscored how the Jordanian national basketball program had fallen from grace.

Fast forward to the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016, however, and Al Nashama rose from the ashes. Daghlas steered his squad to 6 wins in 8 games, including big victories over Chinese Taipei, the Philippines, Japan and upstarts Iraq. For the Asia Cup this year, Daghlas is aiming for a return to the top 8 in the continent, although he knows it will be much harder than before given the entry of Oceania power Australia and New Zealand.

Daghlas recently shared his thoughts with FIBA.com.

How are your preparations so far for the FIBA Asia Cup?
We are happy to finally get the team together and start our preparation for the Asia Cup, but we have a lot of work ahead of us and so little time to have our team ready.

What can you say about the teams in your Asia Cup group?
As you know, Iran have been one of the best national teams in Asia for the past years. Having them in our group will give us the chance to see how our team is coming together and where we stand against a really tough team. India have been improving year after year and the sport of basketball is becoming more popular there, so I expect a good showing from them, too.

Which players do you think will step up for Jordan this time?
We will be missing some key guys for the Asia Cup, so I expect most of my players to step up and play well. They are all excited and have been working real hard to have their chance to perform at this stage. We have a talented team that Jordan should be proud of.

What is the main target for the team this year?
Our main target is to get our players playing at a higher level than before and for us to see what we need to work on towards the Asia Qualifiers come November. We need to have a good showing, play well as a team and build on that.

Source: http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/news/daghlas-looking-for-jordan-to-step-up-at-asia-cup

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