Game Photos. Game Details and Stats
TOKYO, Japan (4th FIBA Asia Cup): Aren Davoudi sank a sizzling trey to bring former twice FIBA Asia champions Iran back into the lead on the scoreboard and the WABA giants held the fantastic hayabusa of Japan off for the following 18-and-half seconds to eke out a cliff-hanger 53-51 win in the final of the 4th FIBA Asia Cup on Saturday.
Samad Nikhhah Bahrami was the leader of the Iranian campaign in the game – as it has been in right through the competition – but his Most Valuable Player moment came when he tapped the ball off Takatoshi Furukawa and then followed it up with a defensive rebound to seal his team’s win.
Japan did have their moments, especially during the ravishing rally they presented in coming back from a 7-point first half deficit.
Kosuke Kanamaru was his usual sprightly self and JR Sakuragi did rather well to keep pace with his much younger opposite number Asghar Kardoust, but when push came to shove it was Aren Davoudi – who had been rested twice earlier for injuries – once on his eye and the other on his leg – provided the star turn!
So what was the actually the difference between the victors and the vanquished at the Ota City Gymnasium?
Was it Japan’s lack of depth in their bench? Was it the hosts’ inadequacy to throw open the game when they had the opportunity? Was it their coach’s poor call for a play for a downtowner instead of a three-point play in the lane?
Well to the discerning, none of these.
Well it all boiled down to one magical moment from a player who has been lurking in the shadows for long. Is it his time in the sun now? For sure, after Saturday the spotlight will burn a little brighter on Aren Davoudi!
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia
Photo: Milad Payami / FIBA Asia