MANILA, Philippines — Exhibit one to prove why they might need to be a mercy rule in FIBA competitions — Iran beating Malaysia, 115-25, in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships on Thursday, August 1 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Iran dominated early, with Mahdi Kamrani and Hamed Haddadi combining for 15 of Team Melli’s first 16 points.
Malaysia’s young guys had no answer for a clearly more talented and more aggressive Iranian side.
Coach Memi Becirovic’s boys utilized their size and experience advantage to the hilt, unnerving the Malaysians with suffocating defense and relentless offense.
At the end of the first half, Iran carried a commanding 58-13 lead.
The terrific trio of Haddadi, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, and Mahdi Kamrani combined for 33 of those points, while Hong Hoong Gan had 8 to lead Malaysia.
Bahrami, in particular, was in fine form, showing no signs of the injury that plagued him last year’s FIBA Asia Cup.
The second half was even tougher for the SEABA side, as Iran outscored them 33-2 in the third period. Entering the fourth, former NBA slotman Haddadi already carried a 21-point, 8-rebound stat-line to underscore the WABA squad’s dominance.
Team Melli switched to cruise control in the final frame, with their big three no longer playing. This should be Iran’s easiest win of the first round, especially since they take on Korea tomorrow and then China on Saturday.
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