Round: Semi Finals
Date: 15 August 2009
City/Arena: Tianjin City / Tianjin Gym
|Points in the Paint:||15||12|
|5||A. AMINI||Did not play|
|9||M. AKBARI||Did not play|
|11||H. SOHRABNEJAD||Did not play|
|13||A. DORAGHI||Did not play|
|14||S. NIKKHAH BAHRAMI||34||7/18||38.9||4/11||36.4||3/7||42.9||6/8||75||0||5||5||5||2||3||0||0||23|
|4||F. ALNAJJAR||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Defending champions Iran handled the pressure situations with better composure and eked out a 77-75 win against a doughty fellow West Asian nation Jordan to book their second successive entry into the title round.
The win – which extended Iran’s run in the championship to 8-0 – put the West Asian powerhouse as the first FIBA Asia team to book their ticket to the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey.
Iran now await the winners of the second semifinal between hosts China and last edition’s silver medalists Lebanon.
Jordan will play the losers of that game in the bronze medal play-off which also will decide the third qualifier for the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
“Our aim here is to win the gold medal,” said Iran coach Veselin Matic.
“Qualifying (to the FIBA World Championship) is important, but it’s more important to retain the title,” Matic added.
“So we will come out even harder tomorrow,” the Serbian said.
Jordan fought back gallantly to go into a 75-74 lead – only the third team they took a lead and by one point on all occasions – on an Enver Soobzokov three-pointer.
But Pooya Tadjik converted one of the two free-throws and Samad Nikkah drove in the lane to put Iran back in lead. And with Rasheim Wright’s fade away bouncing off the rim, Jordan were left with no time.
“I think we lost the initiative in the first half,” said Jordan coach Mario Palma.
“After that it was always uphill. Against a team like Iran it doesn’t succeed that easily,” he added.
Samad led the scoring for the game with 23 points, but those two he scored with about seven seconds will be worth their weight in gold.
“For sure,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many points you score otherwise. I’m happy I scored that basket.”
Hamed Afagh had been the saviour for Iran before that.
The Saba Mehr guard was inducted only in the second quarter, which Iran started at a shaky 17-12.
Afagh had an effect immediately firing in six points in a 1-2-3 sequence and with Javad Davari beginning to find the mark – with five points during this time – Iran raced away with an 11-2 run which gave Matic the leeway to give the injured Mahdi Kamrani the much needed breather.
And when Jordan staged a scintillating third quarter rally outscoring Iran 27-16, Afagh stepped up yet again.
The 26-year-old scored the first five points of the fourth quarter and Davari – again –
consolidated the position further and Iran were back in control.
Not that Jordan were blown away but Iran were always ahead on the scoreboard, except for the two occasions – once each midway through the first and third quarters – when Jordan rallied.
And whenever Jordan fought back, Afagh was at hand to regain the control for Iran.
Afagh had an incredible 5/7 record in three pointers for his 18 points.
Hamed EHadadi scored only five points, but stood tall and solid in defence collecting 12 rebounds – most importantly 11 of them in defence.
Rasheim Wright was Jordan’s highest scorer with 17 points, but scored 11 of them in the first half.
Sam Daghles, who scored nine points in Jordan’s third quarter gallantry, had fifteen points.
Zaid Abbbas’ double-double – 11 points and a game-high 17 points – went in a losing cause.
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|Schedule / Results||Standings||Teams||News / Photos||Event Guide|
|Full schedule||Group Standings||Group A||Group B||News||Key Facts|
|System of Competition||JAP, KOR||IRI, KUW||Interviews||Overview|
|FIBA ranking||PHI, SRI||TPE, UZB||Press Releases
||Road to Turkey
|Group C||Group D||Photos||Clean Game
|CHN, IND||INA, JOR||All Time Medalists|
|KAZ, QAT||LIB, UAE||TV broadcasters|