IRAN SERVES NOTICE; FIBA ASIA DAY 2 RECAP
Iran is deadset on reclaiming the Asian basketball throne.
Hamed Hadadi and Nikkah Bahrami combined for 53 big points as Iran subdued Korea, 76-65, to claim solo lead in Group C of the FIBA Asia men’s championship at the Mall of Asia Arena Friday.
Korea dropped to 1-1 in a tie with China, which mauled Malaysia, 113-22, even with coach Panagiotis Giannakis opting to rest top gun Yi Jianlian.
Kazahkstan, Chinese-Taipei and host Philippines also picked up wins that gave them the lead, or at least a share of it, in their respective groups.
The Kazakhs needed five extra minutes before downing Bahrain at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, 79-76, scoring their second win in as many assignments. Bahrain absorbed its first setback after winning over India Thursday, also in overtime.
Lu Cheng-Ju fired seven three-pointers and finished with 25 points to lead Chinese-Taipei to a 90-67 trouncing of Saudi Arabia. Chinese-Taipei now totes a 2-0 card in a tie with Gilas Pilipinas, which fed on the hometown crowd’s energy in carving out a hard-earned 77-71 win over Jordan.
Chinese-Taipei and the Filipinos battle for Group A supremacy Saturday.
Bouncing back from heartbreaking opening day defeats were Japan and India.
Japan repulsed Hong Kong, 76-59 in Group B while India turned back Thailand, 89-65, in Group B. (JL)
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