Game Photos. Game Details and Stats
BEIRUT, Lebanon (23rd FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Mahram pounded their opponents with all their might right from the word go and defeated fellow WABA team Duhok of Iraq 91-52 for their second win in as many games in the Prelim Round on Tuesday – a performance that more than satisfied coach Mostafa Hashemi.
Surprising though was Hashemi’s reluctance to spread the minutes after taking a firm grip on the proceedings till midway through the fourth period. Sajjad Mashayekhi, a talented and young point guard was left cooling heels on the bench for more than necessary, and so was Mohsen Moradkhani.
“We didn’t want to lose the intensity,” Hashemi defended his tactics.
“Our preparations haven’t been as much as we’d like it to be. Therefore we need to get the minutes for our players,” he added.
“The game situation doesn’t mean anything to me this early in the season, when we are trying to get our combination going. It might look like we are having it easy, but it’s far from reality,” he said.
Mahram had never lost to Duhok in their previous four encounters over the last one year or so – including an 88-65 win in the WABA League Prelim Round earlier this year. The tenor of the contest continued with such form and fame.
Mahdi Kamrani, out to prove a point after being left in the lurch when Iran won the gold medal at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo (Japan) less than a month ago, was the leader of Iran’s charge early on accounting for 11 of his 15 points for the game in the first quarter.
Samad Bahrami was as dependable as ever and Serbian import Ratko Varda was strong under the basket on either end of the floor as Mahram grew in strength as the game progressed.
Ali Muayad Ismael caught the eye for Duhok with import Antonio Webb being brisk in his moves, which however proved inadequate against Mahram.