ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): A lot depends upon Vahid Dalirzahan for Iran in their quest to regain the top place in FIBA Asia U18 Championship. At least that’s what it looked like when Iran went on an unbeaten spree in the two-leg WABA U18 Championship – winning all four games at Tehran in front of a home crowd in late 2011 and then repeating the feat in Tripoli in April this year.
But propose the idea of being a team leader pat comes his reply, “individually there are a lot of good players in our team. But the key is to play together as a team.”
“We have done well in our preparations and are doing well in training. If we can improve on our teamwork, there’s nothing that can beat this team,” he added on the eve of the 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship starting on Friday.
Iran have been drawn with SEABA’s Philippines, Kazakhstan of CABA and GCC’s top team Saudi Arabia in Group D of the Prelim Round, from where the top three teams will advance to the Second Round.
“I think with the abilities this team has, we have a lot to show to rest of Asia about Iranian basketball,” he said.
“We have improved a lot in many areas after all the training camps and tours to Europe.
“Our skills are really good, but we can’t afford to get complacent. We need to raise our game at every level and set high standards.
“Like I said, how well we combine as a team will be the key to our success.”
Reporting inputs from Fereshteh Seyfi Naji in Tehran