Iranian giant too tough to handle for Taiwan

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Taiwan NT could not overcome Iran’s height advantage and dropped its first game in the quarterfinal round to Iran, 76-64, Tuesday.

Iran’s 7-2 center Hamed Hadadi had 17 points and 16 rebounds and Mohammed Nikkha had 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting as Iran broke open the game with a 16-2 run in the third quarter.

Taiwan, which was outrebounded 42-21, could do little with its zone defense to stop Hadadi and contain Iran’s outside shooting at the same time. It is scheduled to meet Lebanon on Wednesday and Qatar on Thursday.

Head coach Chung Kwang-suk almost played his starting ineup for the entire first half and Taiwan was able to keep just one step behind Iran, trailing 37-34 at the half. However, the third-quarter lapse changed the whole game. Taiwan trailed by as many as 21 points.

Wu Dai-hao once again paced the team with 16 points (5-11 FG, 6-8 FT), 6 rebounds and two blocks. Chen Hsin-an also added 16 points and 5 boards. Yang Che-yi had 12 and Lin Chih-jay had 11.

204cm center Tsun Wen-din, who has been listed as day-to-day since the tournament started and did not play in the preliminary round, made his debut in the third quarter but looked rusty, going scoreless in 9 minutes.

Point guard Javad Davari also had 13 points for Iran, which advanced to the quarterfinal with a perfect 3-0 record in the Group A.

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Quarterfinal results:
Iran 76-64 Taiwan
Lebanon 90-68 Qatar
Korea 70-65 Jordan
Kazakhstan 93-85 Japan

Consolation round results:
Philippines 107-100 Syria
China 93-69 Hong Kong
Kuwait 72-68 India
Indonesia 83-81 UAE

(photo: fiba.com)

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