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Riyadi lead Basketball League, face Awdeh in vital match
By Aline Bannayan - Feb 19,2017 - Last updated at Feb 19,2017
AMMAN — The Basketball League’s final week promises interesting matches for fans as titleholders Riyadi lead, while Awdeh has big ambitions with six matches remaining.
Leg 1 of the final round ended on Saturday evening with Riyadi scoring a vital 67-61 win over Orthodoxi. Riyadi held onto the top spot as they also had earlier beaten Awdeh 78-69.
After leading the first round, it was Orthodoxi’s second consecutive defeat after they lost 72-62 to Awdeh earlier in the week.
Awdeh are now second after beating Kufr Youba 82-56. Their line-up was boosted by the signing of Mahmoud Abdeen midway through the current stage of the event.
The highlight of the final week of the event will be Awdeh’s match against Riyadi on February 21. The match is likely to determine standings and eventual champion ahead of Orthodoxi vs Awdeh on February 25 and Riyadi vs Orthodoxi on February 28.
In the first round of the competition, Riyadi only lost to Orthodoxi as the top four were decided while the bottom four battled it out with Jalil, Anjara, Hurrieh and Deir Abi Saied contesting the relegation play-offs. There are no import players this year and the competition format has no best-of-five play-offs for the title.
In the 2015-2016 season, Riyadi-Aramex were crowned league champs — a title which had eluded them for 20 years when they beat titleholders Orthodoxi to win the best-of-seven play-offs 4-0. Riyadi-Aramex had last won the league in 1997 by then Jazira-Aramex team (whose players later on formed Riyadi’s line-up). Hurrieh were third last year sealing the best-of-five play-offs 3-2 against Awdeh with teams like Applied Science University, Ittihad, and Wihdat pulling out of the competition.
Orthodoxi who won their record 23rd league title in the 2014-15 season, last year won the Jordan Cup.
Former league and cup champs Applied Science University (ASU) and Ittihad Schools have pulled out of competitions over differences with the Jordan Basketball Federation, and players have been dispersed over the rest of clubs.
The Basketball League which started in 1952 has had 58 editions with eight teams crowned champion. It was cancelled in three seasons and discontinued once. Orthodoxi have won 23 times, Ahli 21, Zain (Fastlink) six times, ASU four times, Jazira-Aramex twice, while Riyadi, Urdun, Watany and the Electricity Co. won once each.
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