MANILA, Philippines—Iran shook off a sluggish start then cruised to a 79-60 rout of Chinese Taipei and to the finale of the 27th Fiba Asia men’s championships Saturday.
Iran pulled off a come back to the competition’s grandest stage after getting stunned in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Asian championships.
They looked hardly like a team favored to win it all in the tournament in the first quarter, though, trailing 14-23 after missing all of their six triple attempts and with Hame Haddadi not getting his free will downlow.
But it didn’t take long before the Iranians flipped the switch, taking full control in the second period as they rattled the Taiwanese with their pressure defense in every possession.
Iran went on a crippling 17-0 run in the period to take the lead for good while Chinese Taipei, after going perfect from other the arc in the first quarter, just went ice cold.
“I think it was a tough game. But second quarter we played good defense,” said Mohammaded Jamshidijafarabadi.
Taiwan was 1-7 from the three-point land in the second quarter, 2-of-9 from the two point area and had seven miscues, which Iran turned into nine markers.
Iran never allowed the dangerous Chinese Taipei, coming off a huge win over China, to threaten again as the Iranians posted a 25-point lead late in the game.
Hadadi had 17 markers and 14 boards but it was the sly Mahdi Marany who starred with 19 points, six rebounds and six dimes with two steals.
“He’s a great point guard. He helps us a lot,” said Jamshidijafarabadi of his teammate.
Quincy Davis, meanwhile, singlehandedly carried Chinese Taipei, which was doomed by its four-point third quarter by its 4-of-24 three-point shooting.