TEHRAN, Iran (4th FIBA Asia Cup): The Iranian National Team – popularly known as Team Melli – will tip off their preparations for the 4th FIBA Asia Cup to be played in Tokyo (Japan) from Sept 14-22 with a tour of Turkey.
Iran, twice former FIBA Asia champions, will be involved in a four-nation tournament involving Germany and Finland besides Turkey at Istanbul. All the European teams are preparing for the 2013 Eurobasket qualifiers.
In a manner of speaking, Iran too will be preparing for the qualifying tournament for Eurobasket’s FIBA Asia equivalent – the FIBA Asia Championship.
The 4th FIBA Asia Cup is after all the qualifying tournament for the 27th FIBA Asia Championship to be played in 2013, which in turn is the qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Iran are drawn alongside former champions Qatar, hosts Japan, East Asian team Chinese Taipei and South Asian champions India in Group B of the Prelim Round at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup.
Due to various reasons, Iran will play without three of their regulars – Mahdi Kamrani, Hamed Afagh and Oshin Sahakian. Of course, the two Iranian players who plough their trade in the United States – Hamed Haddadi and Arsalan Kazemi will too be missing.
But the rest of the mainstays will be seen in action at Turkey.
Iran team for Turkey four-nation tournament
Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, Aren Davoudi, Ruzbeh Arghavan, Javad Davari, Saeed Davarpanah, Asghar Kardoost, Jaber Rozbehani, Mousa Nabipoor, Mohammad Jamshidi, Mohammadreza Khabazan, Reza Lotfi and Farid Aslani.