Iran overcame a Saudi Arabia comeback in the fourth quarter to beat the Middle Eastern side 71-64 on the first day of the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on Saturday.
Behnam Yakhchali had 27 points, three assists, and nine rebounds in the Iranian outfit, while Mohammad Jamshidi chipped in 19 points to lead the country to a third consecutive victory in Group E of the qualifiers.
The Asian powerhouse took a commanding 10-point lead in the first period before Saudis bounced back to tie the match at 54-54 in the fourth quarter.
Sitting atop the four-team group with a perfect record after three rounds of play, Iran takes on Syria – second in the group – on Monday.
After three windows, the top two teams of the six groups will qualify for next year’s main event.
The six third-placed teams will advance to play a final qualifying tournament in February 2021 with the top four from this tournament being given a place in the competition.