Report by Tehran Times; photos by Islamic Republic News Agency
Iran won the 27th FIBA Asia Men's Basketball Championship by beating the Philippines on Sunday in Pasay City. The Iranian team defeated the Philippines 85-71 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. Both the teams secured berths in the World Championships in Spain next year. Iran had already won the Asian titles in 2007 and 2009.
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"Today was the toughest game for us," said a visibly elated Iran coach Mehmed Becirovic. "We know that there were 20,000 fans behind the Philippine team. They played very good, and they find new energy, new energy, new energy every time to fight through to the end."
The 7'2" Haddadi, who was later named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, scored 29 points and hauled in 16 rebounds in the final match.
"I am so happy because of winning the title. This is a gift to all Iranian people. I am proud of (what) we've done in the competitions and made our nation happy," Haddadi said.
It was still the Philippines' best finish in the tournament in nearly three decades after last winning the title in the 1985.
In the bronze medal match, South Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 75-57 and booked a place in the World Championships.
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