Iran, China, South Korea unbeaten in Asians

WUHAN, China — Giant centre Hamed Haddadi had 12 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday as Iran remained unbeaten at the Asian Championships with a 76-45 win over Lebanon, joining hosts China and South Korea in the ranks of the undefeated.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 20 Sep 2011, 8:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:34 PM

The Memphis Grizzlies centre also anchored a defence that stifled Lebanon’s shooters all game, while Haddadi’s teammates Samad Bahrami and Hamed Afagh helped with the scoring load, netting 16 points apiece for the defending champions.

“This was a good game for us, we respect Lebanon, they play a very physical game,” said Iran point guard Mahdi Kamrany, “this will help us in the games to come.”

Iran will play South Korea on Wednesday in the final game of Group E play, with both teams remaining unbeaten here at five wins and no losses.

South Korea improved their record Tuesday by beating Taiwan 82-61 behind 19 points from sharpshooter Cho Sung-Min, but Korea’s chances could be hurt after top scorer Oh Se-Keun and former Portland Trailblazer centre Ha Seung-Jin limped from the game due to injury.

“Iran is going to be a tough team,” South Korean coach Hur Jae said. “Our strategy will depend on whether our injured players can play. We will know their situations better tomorrow.”

China also remained unbeaten fighting to a physical 93-60 win over Jordan to remain at the top of the table in Group F and keeping their hopes alive to win Asia’s only automatic spot to the 2012 London Olympics with a gold medal here.

The hosts were led by Washington Wizard power forward Yi Jianlian with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Yi Li and Sun Yue scored 14 points apiece for the winners.

China have won 14 Asian championships and represented the region at every Olympics since 1976, but have struggled in recent years largely due to injuries to superstar centre Yao Ming, who announced his retirement in July.

In an earlier Group F match, Marcus Douthit scored 25 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as the Philippines ended Japan’s four-game winning streak with a 83-76 victory.

Japan face China on Wednesday, while the Philippines can ensure a top quarter-final seed with a win over Syria.

In other action here Tuesday, Malaysia beat Uzbekistan 34-33 in Group E, while Syria knocked off the United Arab Emirates 48-35 in Group F.

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