Hadadi stars as Iranians hammer Koreans | Inquirer Sports

Hadadi stars as Iranians hammer Koreans

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 01:23 AM August 03, 2013

IRAN emphatically showed its intention to reclaim the Asian championship last night.

Drawing tremendous firepower from NBA veteran Hamed Hadadi and Samad Bahrami, the 2007 and 2009 champion Iranians demolished South Korea, 76-65, in the 27th Fiba Asia Championship at Mall of Asia Arena.

The 7-foot-2 Hadadi was unstoppable in the paint as the former Phoenix Suns slotman unloaded 30 points on top of 12 rebounds for the Iranians, who used a 10-0 charge late in the third to finally pull away from the Koreans.

Korea came into the match fresh off a stunning victory over defending champion China, 63-59, the other night and fought Iran on even terms until the bigger and taller Iranians asserted themselves in the second half.

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“China is a great team ready to defend its title, but we’re also here to win the championship. It’s going to be a fight,” said Hadadi, who won MVP honors in the 2007 edition in Tokushima, Japan, and in 2009 in Tianjin.

As Chinese scouts watched on the stands, Bahrami complemented the unstoppable Hadadi with 23 points for Iran’s second straight victory in Group C after a massive 115-25 rout of Malaysia.

Iran goes for a sweep when it tangles with China today in the main attraction of the final day of the first phase of eliminations.

The accurate shooting the Koreans used to upset China deserted them. They made only six of 22 shots from three-point range and went just 16 of 40 from the perimeter.

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“It was a physical game but we didn’t give up,” said Iran’s Slovenian coach Mehmed Becirovic. “We had a lot of open looks inside.”

The scores:

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IRAN 76—Hadadi 30, Nikkah Bahrami 23, Kamrany 5, Sahakian 4, Kardoust 4, Arghavan 3, Jafarabadi 3, Davoudichegani 2, Afagh 2, Sohrabnejad 0, Davari 0, Veisi 0.

KOREA 65—Cho 15, Kim JK 11, Kim M. 11, Lee J. 8, Kim S. 6, Kim JS 5, Lee S. 4, Choi 2, Yang 2, Yoon 1, Kim T. 0, Moon 0.

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Quarters: 18-15, 30-34, 51-41, 76-65

TAGS: 27th Fiba Asia Championship, Basketball, FIBA Asia, Hamed Hadadi, Iran

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