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04/06/2016
Asia
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Flawless Iran crowned WABA Champions

AMMAN - Iran were crowned WABA champions after sweeping the tournament on Friday in Amman, Jordan.

The West Asia Basketball Association (WABA) tournament served as a qualifier to the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge which will take place in Iran from 9-18 September. 

Iran had already qualified to the Challenge as hosts, while Jordan and Iraq clinched WABA's two spots after finishing second and third respectively.

Team Melli beat defending champions Lebanon 81-75 on Day 1, before beating Syria (93-63) and Iraq (79-50). In their final game, they beat Jordan 85-75 to clinch the title.

"I am so happy because we earned four victories in the tournament.  We played in a high level competition; however, I believe that we have a long way ahead of us," said Iran head coach Dirk Bauermann.

Despite missing the star trio of Hamed Haddadi, Nikkah Behrami and Mahdi Kamrani, Iran never looked in trouble throughout the tournament, thanks in large part to the outstanding performances of Behnam Yakhchali, Oshin Sahakian and Mohammad Jamshidi.

Jordan, under new head coach Sam Daghles, surprised many with their strong showing in Amman and finished second with an impressive 3-1 record.

Rank Team W L
1 Iran 4 0
2 Jordan 3 1
3 Iraq 2 2
4 Lebanon 1 3
5 Syria 0 4

The hosts easily beat Syria on the opening day, before defeating Iraq in a thriller the next day. Despite their valiant effort, they lost to Iran on Day 3 but wrapped up the tournament with an overtime win over Lebanon.

Surprise package Iraq finished third to clinch the sub-zone's final qualifying spot.

Qusay Hatem's men lost their opening two games against Jordan and Iran, but bounced back with back-to-back wins over Lebanon and Syria.

FIBA