Defending China suffers second defeat at Asian basketball championship
Updated: 2013-08-04 09:21
China's Wang Zhizhi, left, passes the ball to a teammate as Iran's Rouzbeh Arghavan defends during the FIBA Asia Basketball Championship, at the Mall of Asia Arena at suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, Aug 3, 2013. Iran won 70-51. [Photo/icpress.cn]
MANILA - Defending champions China suffered their second defeat at the 27th Asian Men's Basketball Championship here on Saturday as they lost to Iran 70-51, while Chinese Taipei proved that they are the best team in Group A after stunning host Philippines 84-79.
Saturday's match was the first meeting between China and Iran in the Asian championship in four years after China went down to Iran 70-52 in the 2009 final. Yi Jianlian's absence due to injury gave Iran more chances to play inside the paint, in which they outscored China 30-18.
Hamed Haddadi scored nine of his game-high 15 points in the second quarter to hand Iran a 17-point lead by halftime, while the Chinese were held to score only eight points in this period.
Zhou Peng performed two dunks in the last minute of the third quarter as China cut the lead to 13 points, but Haddadi scored five points in a row to inspire an 11-2 run for Iran in the fourth quarter.
Iran, who never trailed in the match, led as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Iran finished the group play with a perfect record of three wins to advance to the second round. China, despite two defeats, will also progress along with South Korea, who finished with a 2-1 win-loss record.
Iran, China and Sout Korea will join the Group F with the top three teams from Group D, which are Kazakhstan, Bahrain and India.
In a match that decides the top place for Group A, Chinese Taipei wiped off a 13-point deficit to beat hosts Philippines in front of 20,000 fans.
Lu Cheng-ju and Lin Chih-chieh led Chinese Taipei's 19-4 run in the final quarter to seize the victory. The two players combined for nine of Chinese Taipei's 15 3-pointers, four of which coming in the fourth quarter, which ultimately keyed in the Filpinos' doom.
In Saturday's other matches, Malaysia exited the tournament with heads held high as they played their best in the 80-58 loss to South Korea.
India lost their third Group D match 80-67 against Kazakhstan, who managed to top Group D with three wins out of three.
In Group B, Qatar defeated Hong Kong, China 87-64 to move into the second round with an unbeaten record.
Members of Team China and Team Iran vie for the ball during their preliminary round match of the FIBA Asia Championship in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines, Aug 3, 2013. [Photo/icpress.cn]