Two-time champion Iran continued its rampage as it routed defending titlist China,70-51, on Saturday to rule Group C in the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Hamed Afagh took charge of the scoring for Iran, hitting two-of-three in the three-point zone that stretched the lead to 41-24 at the half.
From there, it was Iran all the way.
Top rebounder Hamed Hadadi joined the spirited play to preserve Iran’s lead 45-29 with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter.
The 7’2 Hamed finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Afagh settled with 12 points and three rebounds.
Wang Shipeng was the only player with double figures for China with 11 points. Veteran Wang Zhizhi could only manage 9 and Liu Xiaoyu, Sun Yue, Zhang Bo and Zhou Peng each shot 6.
With the victory, the Iranians led Group C and advanced into the second phase of the elimination round with a 3-0 card.
South Korea is next with 2-1 and China, whose lone win was at the expense of Malaysia, 113-22 last Friday, is 1-2.