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Iran ready to shine with a balanced crew
TEHRAN (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) - Iran’s 12-man roster for the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge that will be played at home at the Azadi Sport Complex in Tehran from 9-18 September has been released, and it’s a balanced crew ready to shine and defend their crown.
Veterans Hamed Haddadi, Arsalan Kazemi, Mohammad Jamshidi, Rouzbeh Arghavan and Oshin Sahakian lead the way for coach Dirk Bauermann’s squad, who are hoping to cop their third straight championship in this biennial tournament. All five of those veterans also played two years ago in the FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, together with rising stars Behnam Yakhchali and Sajjad Mashayekhi, who are also present here in Tehran.
|Iran 12-player roster for FIBA Asia Challenge|
|Ali Allahverdi||Rouzbeh Arghavan||Farid Aslani||Vahid Dalirzahan|
|Adnan Doraghi||Hamed Haddadi||Mohammad Hassanzadeh||Mohammad Jamshidi|
|Arsalan Kazemi||Sajjad Mashayekhi||Oshin Sahakian||Behnam Yakhchali|
Iran are expected to be among the favorites in this competition, and they should be especially motivated after finishing third in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship behind China and the Philippines and after going winless in the 2016 FIBA OQT.
In 2014, Iran went on an unbeaten run all the way to annexing their second FIBA Asia Cup in a row. They are, in fact, on a 14-game win streak in the tournament. The last game they lost in this competition was in the 2010 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup when they were beaten by Jordan, 68-57, in the battle for fifth place.
Iran are looking to dominate here, especially in the paint, what with Haddadi, Kazemi and Sahakian all expected to perform at optimal level. And even without old reliables like Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, Hamed Afagh and Mahdi Kamrani, Team Melli should have more than enough firepower on the perimeter with Jamshidi, Yakhchali and Mashayekhi leading the charge.
The top five teams in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge will earn for their respective sub-zones an extra berth in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup (formerly known as the FIBA Asia Championship).