0849 GMT August 13, 2022
Veteran center Hamed Haddadi chipped in 14 points, as well as 15 rebounds, to help Iran walk away with a 91-56 victory over Syria in Aleppo to cap off the first round of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Mohammad Jamshidi topped the scoring for Iran with 16, with Navid Rezaeifar scoring 11 in 17:58 minutes of play, as head coach Saeed Armaghani celebrated a first win in the second game in charge.
Nadim Issa had 13 points to lead Syria.
Iran had already secured a runner-up finish in Group D of the qualifiers with 10 points – following Kazakhstan – and a place in the second-round group phase.
Also on Monday, Bahrain stunned Kazakhstan 62-51 in Nur-Sultan to overtake Qatar for the third place in the group and progress to the next round.
Iran will kick off the fourth window of the qualifiers with a home fixture against Japan on August 25 in Group F – also featuring Australia, China, Kazakhstan, and Bahrain.
Having beaten Bahrain twice in the previous round, while suffering back-to-back defeats against Kazakhstan, Iran will take a 4-2 record into the group to start in the fourth place.
Top three of the two qualifying groups will advance to the final showdown – starting Aug. 25 next year in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
New Zealand, Lebanon, Jordan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and India are in Group E.