F China beats Iran for 3rd place in Continental Cup Int'l Tournament - Powcast Sports

China beats Iran for 3rd place in Continental Cup Int'l Tournament

source: fibaasia.net

LIZHOU, China - Hosts China continued to utilize the absence of the key players in the Iranian line-up and scored a 76-58 win in the third place play-off of the Stankovic Continental Cup on Sunday.

Eurobasket 2009 semifinalists Slovenia defeated FIBA Oceania champions Australia 71-60 to take the top place.

Yi Jianlian scored 18 points and collected 11 rebounds for China. Wang Shipeng had a 14-point return and Zhou Peng scored 10.

China, who suffered a 52-70 defeat to Iran in the gold medal game of the 25th FIBA Asia Championship last year, had won 86-64 in the preliminary round game between the two on Thursday.

Iran are playing the tournament without two players who had played a stellar role in the Tianjin victory.

Giant center Hamed EHadadi who had scored a game-high 19 points and collected a game-high 17 rebounds is yet playing the NBA Summer League. And sharp shooter Hamed Afagh who scored some crucial three-pointers at the critical junctures of the final game at Tianjin is yet to recover from injury.

Samad Nikkah Bahrami and Mahdi Kamrani, the never-say-die Iranian duo, played without a lot of passion.

Kamrani scored 16 points and Samad scored one less, but the absence of EHadadi was obvious.

Iran coach Veselin Matic conceded as much.

Playing without a tall center made it tough for us,” Matic, who was also the coach at Tianjin, said.

Our inside players too didn’t play upto our expectations. China’s double-team was a great success. They were also making field goals, which broke our combined defense,” he said.

“Losing is unpleasant, but we did a good job in the first 25 minutes,” said Matic.

We were good in the first 25 minuites, but there were big rotation problems with only 6 or 7 players playing,” said Samad.

“It would have been better if EHaddadi was with us. We would have had more variations in both offense and defense,” he added.

But the youngsters got the opportunity to learn. That’s our biggest gain,” he said.

One such youngster Arsalan Kazemi scored 11 points and almost pulled off a double-double collecting nine rebounds.

Iran raced ahead 23-13 in the first quarter and took a healthy 10-point lead (37-27) into the changing rooms.

But the hosts hit back strongly and dominated the scoreboard in the second half.

China outscored Iran 27-10 in the third quarter and finished the final ten minutes with a 22-11 advantage.

We used our starting lineup in the second half. There was a complete difference between the first and second half,” said China coach Bob Donewald.

On the future preparation plans of the team, Donewald said: “We will fly back to Beijing first. And then to Vancouver to play against Canada followed by a visit to New York and Brazil. After that, we'll play Puerto Rico and Serbia. It’s only after that we’ll prune the line-up to its final shape.”

“Yi in particular did an excellent job in defense. I think that’s why we managed to catch up and take the lead,” said the American who took over as the Head Coach from Guo Shiqiang after the Tianjin defeat.

“Iran knew our attacking method very well and controlled the pace throughout the first quarter; in the second half, we reversed the situation and later we performed better and better,” said Yi.

The Continental Cup is a part of the teams’ preparations for the 2010 FIBA World Championship to be played in Turkey from Aug 28-Sept 12.

Iran and Slovenia are drawn together in Group B of the Preliminary Round at Turkey. China are drawn in Group C Australia in Group A.


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