Iran edges Japan 66-56 in FIBA Asia Cup opener

Iran men’s national basketball team

Iran men’s national basketball team has earned a convincing victory in its opening match at the fifth edition of Fédération Internationale deBasketball (FIBA) Asia Cup in China, beating Japan.

On Friday, the Japanese side started the match held at the Wuhan Gymnasium in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, situated 1,052 kilometers (654 miles) south of the capital Beijing, in energetic fashion and outscored the Iranians 17-15 in the first quarter.

The second quarter played out much like the first, with the Samurais utilizing some quality offensive breaks to win it 16-15.

The Iranian sportsmen rallied in the third quarter and managed to edge past the Japanese with 15 points to 7.

In the final quarter, momentum was clearly with the Iranian outfit, who chipped the deficit down.

They finally clinched a 21-16 win in the fourth round, and scored a 66-56 victory over Japan.

“They are doing a tremendous job, but the players also know we have a long international season ahead of us,” Iran basketball coach Memi Becirovic said in the post match news conference.

“We certainly didn’t have the best of the starts, but then it’s certainly normal considering that this is our first game. We will improve as we go along,” he added.

The Iranian team will return to action on Saturday as it plays against hosts China.

The 5th edition of FIBA Asia Cup started in the Chinese city of Wuhan on July 11, and will run until July 19.

Iran has been drawn in Pool A along with China, India, Indonesia and Japan.

Pool B consists of Chinese Taipei, Jordan, the Philippines and Singapore.

The winner of the basketball tournament in China will automatically qualify for the FIBA Asia Championship in 2015.

By Press TV


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