Saturday, August 10, 2013

Iran beat Chinese Taipei, claims first finals slot

Iran, Chinese Taipei, 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, ASEAN League Basketball Round 12, FIBA Asia 2013 Philippines

Iran use their strong defense to defeat the three-point threat of Chinese Taipei, 79-60, on Saturday, in the semifinal round of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship held at the Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines.

Iran are now in the finals that will be held tomorrow, they will also go to Spain for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. After their untimely exit in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, Iran vowed to do all they can to recapture the title. They are now one step away as they wait for the winner of the second semis match-up against the Philippines and South Korea.

“Three things were important. No fastbreaks, no easy points, and control the boards,” said Iran head coach Mehmed Becirovic. “We didn’t start the game good but we found the energy to win the game.”

Mahdi Kamrany, Iran’s veteran point guard, scored 19 points and added six rebounds and six assists. Hamed Hadadi added 17 points and 14 rebounds while Oshin Sahakian chipped in 13 points and eight boards.

Chinese Taipei, on the other hand, will have to earn their invitation to Spain the hard way. They now await the loser of the other semis match for the battle for third tomorrow.

Hung Chih-Shan broke a 4-all tie at the 7:48 mark with a step back jumper, but Hadadi tied game again on the next possession.

Iran struggled to get their inside game going as Quincy Davis and Tseng Wen-Ting tag teamed to clog the lane. However, Hamed Afagh completed a steal and turned it into a three point play at the 3:29 mark of the first to trim Chinese Taipei's lead down to two points at 13-11.

Lin Chih-Chieh sank a triple at the 2:20 mark to extend their lead to seven points at 19-12. Tseng added a long jumper to raise the lead to nine points.

An Afagh baseline jumper inched Iran closer at 21-14, but Chen Shih-Chieh finished the first quarter by sinking an awkward jumper. The first 10 minutes of action ended with Chinese Taipei surprising Iran by leading 23-14.

Lin, the usually reliable scorer for Chinese Taipei, struggled in the game. His triple in the first quarter would be his first and only basket. He went 1-for-6 in the field while turning the ball over four times.

An inside two from Asghar Kardoust and a triple from Mahdi Kamrany opened the second quarter for Iran to get to within four points of Chinese Taipei at 23-19.

A free throw from Oshin Sahakian and three straight points from Kamrani knotted the ball game at 23-all with 6:23 left in the second period. Iran continued to wreak havoc on the open court as they completed a 17-0 run

Two free throws from Davis finally stopped the bleeding for Chinese Taipei. Those were Chinese Taipei’s first two points in the second period and these came with only 3:30 left before halftime.

Iran pushed the tempo yet again to get four straight points from Kamrany and Sahakian to build a 35-25 lead. Luckily for Chinese Taipei, Iran’s head coach was called for a technical foul. This allowed Davis to make two free throws with his team keeping possession.

Davis finally scored Chinese Taipei’s first field goal of the second quarter at the 1:20 mark. His basket trimmed the Iranian lead down to 10 at 39-29. After another basket from Sahakian, Davis scored again down low but he was fouled and bloodied up. Tien Lei stepped in to can the freethrow in Davis’ stead to get Chinese Taipei to within nine points.

Tien added a triple at the tail end of the first half for a 41-35 count still in Iran’s favor.

Iran outscored Chinese Taipei 27-12 in the second period to turn a nine-point deficit into a six-point lead. Kamrany led Iran with 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists in the first half. Sahakian added nine points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Davis top scored for Chinese Taipei with 10 points as he carried the brunt of the offense for his team in the second period.

Kamrany and Sahakian, the duo that did the most damage for Iran in the first half, connected again to start the third period. Kamrany found Sahakian for the first two points for Iran. Sahakian then completed a steal and a fastbreak layup for a 45-35 count in their favor. Hadadi added a hook, followed by a fastbreak layup from Samad Nikkah Bahrami to build a 14-point lead for Iran.

Like in the second period, it was Davis who first scored for Chinese Taipei with a basket down low at the 5:55 mark. Davis scored again after a couple of minutes, but their defense could not contain Hadadi as Iran continued to pull away.

Kamrany scored a split on the line at the 1:24 mark, but Iran got the offensive rebound for a Kamrany layup to give Iran a commanding 58-39 lead. Afagh ended the third with a fastbreak layup for a 60-39 edge heading into the final quarter.

Chinese Taipei’s woes on offense continued in the third. After exploding for 23 points in the first quarter, they only managed to score 12 in the second and a measly four points in the third to allow Iran to pull away.

A jumper from Chen somehow trimmed the Iranian lead to 17 points at 62-45 with 6:23 left in the game. Chen did all he can to bring Chinese Taipei back in the game but he was matched by Kamrany and Hadadi on the other side.

Another Hadadi basket and a fastbreak layup by Kamrany gave Iran a 70-28 lead with only 3:38 left in the game.

Iran started pulling out their starters at that point as they allowed their bench to complete the mop-up operations.

IRAN (79) - Kamrany 19, Hadadi 17, Sahakian 13, Afagh 10, Kardoust 8, Nikkah Bahrami 8, Jamshidijafarabadi 2, Davoudichegani 2, Davari 0, Arghavan 0, Sohrabnejad 0, Veisi 0

CHINESE TAIPEI (60) - Davis III 16, Chen 11, Tsai 6, Tseng 6, Hung 5, Lu 5, Tien 4, Lin 3, Yang 2, Creighton 2, Lee 0, Chou 0

Source: GMA News

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