TEHRAN, Iran (23rd FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Been forced to watch Iran’s triumph at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo (Japan) less than a month ago only on television, Mahram point guard Mahdi Kamrany is all set to prove a couple of points to the powers that be, that he still has the juice, when he leads the Iranian giants at the 23rd FIBA Asia Champions Cup starting in Beirut on Monday.
Kamrany’s replacement in Iran’s National team – Aren Davoudichegani – stole all the limelight with a clutch trey helping Iran clinch the gold medal game and thus an automatic entry to next year’s 27th FIBA Asia Championship, also to be hosted in Lebanon.
“I was out of NT roster because of some personal reasons, but my body is in a good shape. I did some private training to remain fit and now I’m totally ready for a new season. I always had this thing about tiredness and not having enough rest, but this time with all summer rest, I don’t have any excuses,” said the 30-year-old.
Kamrani has been the architect of many a victory for Mahram – most significantly in the 19th FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Jakarta (Indonesia) and the 21st FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Doha (Qatar) a year later when Mahram won back-to-back title – and therefore has the vantage position to comment on the prospects of the team at FIBA Asia’s blue riband event for clubs.
“Everything is OK with the Mahram team,” he said.
“New players are getting into the groove and all of us are trying to be prepare the best in the coming days. Of course, we can’t do something magical with one week training, but Mahram’s core is strong and right. So we don’t have to worry much,” he added.
Looking at the competition, Kamrani said: “Any team from Lebanon is always very competitive. Basketball is their national sport and they respect it a lot .And now they are also the hosts. Of course they will be favorites.”
“Al Riyadi is in very good shape now. They are as powerful as in the past, but we’ll also do a great job,” he went on.
“The best thing about Mahram team is that we just get better as things get harder and adversities have always brought out the best from us,” he signed off.
Reporting inputs from Fereshteh Seyfi Naji in Tehran