China suffer defeat, Chinese Taipei stun hosts
Manila: Defending champion China suffered their second defeat at the 27th Asian Men`s Basketball Championship here as they lost to Iran 51-70.
Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei proved they are the best team in Group A after stunning hosts Philippines 84-79 Saturday, reports Xinhua.
The China-Iran was the first meeting in the Asian Championship in four years after China went down to Iran 52-70 in the 2009 final. Yi Jianlian`s absence, due to injury, gave Iran more chances to play inside the paint where they outscored China 30-18.
Hamed Haddadi scored nine of his game-high 15 points in the second quarter to hand Iran a 17-point lead by halftime. The Chinese were held to score only eight points in this period.
Zhou Peng performed two dunks in the last minute of the third quarter as China cut the lead to 13 points. But Haddadi scored five points in a row to inspire an 11-2 run for Iran in the fourth quarter.
Iran, who never trailed in the match, led as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter to win.
Iran finished the Group with a perfect record of three wins to advance to the second round. China, despite two defeats, will also progress with South Korea who finished with a 2-1 win-loss record.
Iran, China and South Korea will join Group F with the top three teams from Group D: which are Kazakhstan, Bahrain and India.
In a match that decided the top place for Group A, Chinese Taipei wiped off a 13-point deficit to beat hosts Philippines in front of 20,000 fans.
Lu Cheng-Ju and Lin Chih-Chieh led Chinese Taipei`s 19-4 run in the final quarter to seize the victory.
The two players combined for nine of Chinese Taipei`s 15 3-pointers, four of which came in the fourth quarter, which ultimately keyed in the Filpinos` doom.
In other matches, Malaysia exited the tournament with heads held high as they played their best in the 58-80 loss to South Korea.
India lost their third Group D match 80-67 against Kazakhstan, who managed to top Group D with three wins out of three.
In Group B, Qatar defeated Hong Kong 87-64 to move into the second round with an unbeaten record.