Placed 83 According to World Ranking
Syria has been one of the top national teams climbing in the FIBA World Ranking after a string of impressive showings over the years competing in the World Cup Qualifiers and Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Syria started the Asia Cup Qualifications at position 100 in the rankings. Syria also made a significant jump of 10 slots in the Qualifiers after the February 2021 Window thanks to an unexpected victory over Iran.
First Asia Cup: 1999
For the first time ever, Syria competed in the Asia Cup in China. They were placed in Group C with the hosts, and after defeating Malaysia, they were able to move on to the next round.
In the Classification Game for seventh place, Lebanon defeated Syria 61-60 after taking the lead in the first half, dropping Syria to eighth place in their inaugural season.
Appearances at the Asia Cup (including 2022): 7
Syria participated in two additional Asia Cups in quick succession after their 1999 debut, in 2001 and 2003. Their subsequent appearances, though, have been spaced out over the previous 20 years.
This will be the first time since 2003 that they may compete in two consecutive Asia Cups after qualifying for the tournament in 2022.
2017 was the most recent appearance.
Syria was able to participate in the 2017 Asia Cup after missing out in 2013 and 2015. Syria played well in their first game against Jordan, winning 68-66, and then defeated India to go to the qualifying round for the quarterfinals.
Michael Madanly gave it his all, but Syria was unable to hold onto a lead in the fourth quarter, losing 81-79 and missing out on a spot in the quarterfinals.
Best Place in the Standings: fourth place (2001)
Syria made a splash with a spectacular run in what was only their second Asia Cup at the time.
As the winner of the Group Phase, Syria defeated Japan to advance to the Semi-Final Qualifying Round. From there, they were successful in defeating Qatar and India to get to the final four teams.
Their winning streak came to an end when they lost to China, and they finished fourth after losing to Korea in overtime. In just their second Asia Cup campaign overall, reaching the Semi-Finals is still fairly noteworthy.
Players to Watch: Michael Madanly
Michael Madanly was one of the stars of Syria’s famous run to fourth place in the 2001 Asia Cup. Even though it was his first Asia Cup, the superstar scorer, who was 20 at the time, continued to pour in 17.0 points per game. This includes a 30-point performance in the third-place match that almost defeated Korea.
In addition to his skill at scoring, Madanly is renowned for his stamina. As impressive as Madanly was in his first Asia Cup, he was equally impressive in the Asia Cup 2017 at age 36, where he averaged 20.5 points per game against some of Asia’s top teams.
Madanly reached his peak during the 2007 Asia Cup, winning the competition with 33.1 points per contest. He scored over 33 points four times in a row and had two games with over 40 points during that span.
In addition to his on-court performance, Madanly has long been a well-known figure in basketball in Syria. He has motivated athletes not only in Syria but also throughout Asia.