(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Giant-killing Jordan on Saturday booked their finals place against China by seeing off the Philippines 75-61 at the Asian Championships.
Jordan rallied late to surge past the Philippines with Rasheim Wright leading the way with 24 points.
In the other semifinal Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi inspired China to a 56-43 victory over South Korea.
China and Jordan will vie in Sunday's final for the right to represent Asia in the 2012 London Olympics, while the silver and bronze medallists in the central Chinese city of Wuhan advance to the Olympic qualifying tournament.
On Friday, 23 points from floor leader Sam Daghles helped Jordan upset the odds with an 88-84 win over champions Iran in the quarter-finals.
Daghles scored seven of his points in the last minute as the Jordanians, aided by a barrage of three pointers, toppled their long-time rivals and spoiled Iran's hopes of taking a third straight Asian championship and a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics.
"I'm very proud of our team, it was a team effort, this was a win our country needed," an elated Daghles said on Friday.
"We just gave ourselves a big shot at making the final by beating the number one seed."
After knocking out the two-time reigning champions, Jordan's coach Tab Baldwin has got his team playing great half-court offence and a tough, switching defence at just the right time.
"I am really excited for this team to have the wonderful privilege to play in the final of the Asian Championships," an overjoyed Baldwin said.
"This means a lot for our team, for our country and for our fans. Whatever team stands in front of us tomorrow, we are going to hit them hard."
Baldwin credited Jordan's rise to a newfound team chemistry and defensive cohesion that emerged following a loss to the Philippines and a 93-60 drubbing by China in the preliminary rounds.
Jordan's defence forced the Philippines to shoot a poor 31 per cent from the field, including three of 23 three-point attempts, while the Jordanians scored 18 points off 16 Filipino turnovers.
"We expected that they would play better than the first game, they are more experienced than us," Philippine coach Rajko Toroman said of a Jordan team which placed third in the 2009 championship.
"If you are shooting poorly like we did, it is really difficult to win the game."
The match was close through the first three quarters, but two three-pointers by point guard Sam Daghles and one by Zaid Abbas with under six minutes remaining in the game sealed the win for Jordan.
Daghles ended the night with 16 points, while Abbas contributed 14. Imported American centre Marcus Douthit led the Philippines with 21 points and 15 rebounds.Yi and Wang scored 11 of China's final 15 points with a range of interior and perimeter shots, while a hustling defence stifled the Korean shooters all night long, thrilling the home court crowd.
"Defensively we were outstanding," China's American coach Bob Donewald said.
"We were wearing them down... we were getting open shots, but they weren't. I felt we were in the driver's seat from the second quarter."
Washington Wizard Yi scored 17 points in all, while former Dallas Maverick Wang had 15 including a key three-pointer with three minutes left in the game.
The only bright spot for the losers was the play of point guard Yang Dong-Geun, who scored 17 points on the night.
"Everyone knows tomorrow is the most important game, we are going to fight as hard as we can, we are not going to relax," China forward Zhu Fangyu said.
"Jordan beat Iran and the Philippines so they are in good shape, we will make thorough preparation."