0652 GMT January 20, 2021
believes his team did not have a proper concentration during Monday’s FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers loss to Syria.
The final day of the second window in Group E saw Iran suffer a shock 77-70 defeat against the Middle Eastern side in Doha, Qatar.
“It was a tough match for both sides. We should have controlled the game more properly,” the Iranian head coach said after the game, adding, “We were not concentrated enough which cost us the defeat.”
Shahintab’ also said the two sides’ performance from behind the arc made the difference in Monday’s encounter.
“We missed a lot of three-point efforts while the Syrians did much better in that respect,” said the Iranian.
Iran only managed to convert 7-of-33 (21.2 percent) three-pointers, while Syria chipped in 7-of-24 (29.2 percent).
Shahintab’ dismissed suggestions that the absence of team captain Samad Nik-Khah Bahrami played a part in the defeat, saying, “Any player might miss a game for different reasons and that’s what happened with Samad this time.”
The Iranian skipper was ruled out of the competition in Qatar as he is recovering from a coronavirus infection.
Meanwhile, Masoud Qassemi, the managing director of the Iranian national teams’, said the two teams’ preparations in the run-up to the event in Qatar made the biggest contribution to the result.
“Syria had been in a training camp in Kazakhstan for one month, while we did not even have a single friendly before the tournament despite not having played for some 10 months.”
Syria’s coach Joe Salerno was full of joy after his team overcame the 22nd-ranked team in the world.
"I’m just so happy for everybody in Syria," the American said in the postgame press conference.
“Iran is a tremendous basketball team and they have been for a long time," said Salerno.
"I look at Iran and they’re one of the top 25 teams in the world, so for us to come out and beat them proves that we can also be a great team. This win will carry on for us through the next window.”
Iran still sits atop of the group with a 3-1 record.
Syria (2-2) is second, followed by Saudi Arabia which beat Qatar 73-67.
After three windows, the top two teams of the six groups will qualify for the main event next year.
The six third-placed teams will advance to play a final qualifying tournament in February with the top four from this tournament being given a place in the competition.