Iran held a commanding 16 point lead in the second quarter in Saturday’s game. But after some key rotation adjustments by their coach, China was able to claw back and make a game out of what was looking like a lopsided affair.
At the end of the first half, Iran stayed ahead 45-41. China would ride the momentum they mustered in the second quarter into the third. Wang Zhelin led the charge for the red shirts, shifting the score in their favor 50-45. At the end of three quarters, China led Iran 59-56.
China’s shots from the outside found their mark at the right time Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyhuang knocked down some key triples to expand China’s lead to 71-61 in the fourth. From there China did not look back and cruised to their victory.
This was a case of sweet redemption for the Chinese team. They were upset by Iran in the Asian Games semifinals at Incheon, South Korea, four years ago. Yesterday, they reclaimed their position atop of the podium as the most dominant nation in Asian basketball.