Friday, October 2, 2015
China dethrones Iran to seal FIBA Asia 2015 finals seat (FULL GAME REPLAY VIDEO)
China flashed its killer form in dethroning erstwhile champion Iran, 70-57, as the hosts moved on to the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship finals Friday night at College of Social Work Dayun in Changsha.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian once again paced China with 13 points and eight boards while team captain Peng Zhou added 12 markers for the hosts that remain unbeaten in the tournament.
China now awaits the winner of the other semifinal matchup featuring Gilas Pilipinas and Japan.
The Chinese, energized by the boisterous hometown crowd, held the lead for the rest of the game, shackling Iran with their suffocating defense.
Hamed Haddadi, who still finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, struggled to get going in his game down low as he was beaten in his matchup against Yi and the rest of China’s young big men.
China pulled away with a 16-8 lead in the first quarter, a cushion it maintained and expanded to as big as 16 points, 56-40, following a monster jam by Yi with over three minutes left in the third period.
But the more experienced Iran side didn’t go out without a fight, with Haddadi and Samad Nikkhah Bahrami carrying their team in a 12-2 run that trimmed its deficit to six, 58-52, the closest the three-time champions got.
However, two straight baskets by Yi and Zhou Qi put the result beyond reach.
WATCH CHINA VS IRAN SEMIFINALS GAME REPLAY VIDEO BELOW: