06 - 21
August 2016
15 Hamed EHADADI (Islamic Republic of Iran)
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Iran's Haddadi puts Asia disappointment behind him with dominant displays in CBA

SICHUAN (2016 Rio Olympics) - Hamed Haddadi came up short of his aim last month in Changsha-Hunan, where he played for Iran at the FIBA Asia Championship.

The 30-year-old tower of power, one of the finest big men to ever play the sport in Asia, had some big games while trying to take the Iranians to the top of the podium for the fourth time in their history.

Injuries to teammates and a rampant China in the Semi-Finals ultimately proved Iran's undoing, although Hamed and Co did reach the podium with a victory over Japan in the third-place game.

What everyone needs to remember is that Iran left the event with a big prize, a spot in one of next year's six-team FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs).

Don't expect Hamed to back down against any of the players from other regions at one of next year's three OQTs.

The last time he went up against non-Asian teams was at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and he was terrific.

When Hamed shows up next year for national team duty, he may be breathing fire.

He has been so far in the 2015-16 China CBA season with Sichuan.

It's almost as if the giant center has been taking out his frustration from Changsha-Hunan on opponents and making the Blue Whales title contenders in the process.

The 30-year-old was unstoppable in his team's latest game, a 124-113 victory over Foshan that kept Sichuan unbeaten six games into the campaign.

Hamed had 20 points and nine rebounds and also swatted five shots.

In the previous game, a 117-98 victory over Shanxi, Hamed had 26 points, 22 rebounds, eight assists and two blocks.

And in the game before that? Hamed dominated with 23 points and 15 boards in a 134-118 triumph over Qingdao.

The Iranian has been big in all of his team's contests, including the close ones.

He poured in 30 points and had 22 rebounds in a 116-114 victory over Shandong Flaming Bulls in Week Three.

There is a long way to go in this season, but if Hamed remains healthy, expect him to be a force with Iran at one of the six-team OQTs as Iran try to book a spot in an Olympic Games for the first time since Beijing in 2008.

Hamed loves to put on the Iran jersey and he'll have a point to prove after Changsha-Hunan.

Axe bad az ghahremani to rakhkan. 🏀

A photo posted by @hamedhaddadi on