Led by sharp shooter Mohammad Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, defending champion Iran showed its poise and beat Philippines 81-68 in its opening game of the 2010 William Jones Cup tournament.
The game was just a warm-up before the two teams potentially meet again in the Asian Games or the next Asian Championship, but it was definitely a satisfying win for Iran, which is now guided by Veselin Matic, against its former coach Rajko Toroman.
Iran jumped in front early, leading by as many as 17 points, but the Philippines cut the deficit to seven midway in the third quarter before Iranians pulled away.
In other games, Yuta Tabuse sat out the game but thanks to brilliant play from Tomoo Amino, who had 21 points, and Takuya Kawamura, who had 18, Japan routed Townsville Crocs with no problem.
Taiwan University All-Stars put up a good fight against Taiwan NT but experience prevailed. Lee Hsueh-lin had 19 points as Taiwan NT closed out the game with a 12-0 run for a 84-74 victory.
Iran 81-68 Philippines
Iran: M.S. Nikkhah Bahrami 27p+8rb+8a, A. Kardoust Poustinsaraei 18p+4rb, I. Zandi Mashhady 16p+7rb
Philippines: M. Douthit 16p+8rb+4blk
Japan 97-69 Townsville Crocs
Japan: T. Amino 21p+6rb+3blk, T. Kawamura 18p
Crocs: D. Matacz 17p+9rb, L. Smith 10p+8rb
Taiwan 84-74 Taiwan University
Taiwan: Lee Hsueh-lin 19p+5a+4s
TWU: Lin Wei-han 22p (9-14 FG), Liu Cheng 12p+9rb
Taiwan NT 2-0
Iran NT 1-0
Philippines NT 1-1
Japan NT 1-1
Taiwan University 0-2
Townsville Crocs 0-2
Korea Sinsegae 88-71 Taiwan University
Taiwan 132-29 Kazakhstan
Taiwan University 0-1
Marcio Lassiter, Philippines
Takuya Kawamura, Japan
Tomoo Amino, Japan
Lee Hsueh-lin, Taiwan
(Photos: ESPN Taiwan)